The Hot Blog Archive for February, 2018

Weekend Estimates by White Leonard

Weekend Estimates 2018-02-25 at 9.11.03 AM

Black Panther shows remarkable resilience from a 45% drop on Friday to estimate 3.7x the Friday gross over the weekend and a record $108 million second weekend. Game Night holds through the weekend and there are some hopes that it will play leggy and do more than $50 million total domestic. And Annihilation is flat over the 3-day, with arguments ramping up amongst film writers.

Well… that was a remarkable Saturday explosion. A 65% bump from Friday to Saturday is pretty much unheard of outside of children’s films, which have soft Fridays. And indeed, there may well have been a big rush of younger kids showing up Saturday after word-of-mouth let parents know Black Panther was safe for the little ones. It is the 2nd best 2nd Saturday ever, behind only Star Wars: The Force Awakens and ahead of #3, Avengers, by over 10%.

This has to up the estimate of the final domestic number on the film… and to some degree the international. Perhaps $1.3 billion is now the floor, not the ceiling. But it’s still early to really know.

Reported demographics remain abut the same. 33% black, 37% white, 18% hispanic/latino, 7% asian, and 5% “other.”

One-third black means about $133 million at the box office or about 12.5 – 13 million black ticket buyers (given add-ons and an adult lean). That’s about half the entire total of frequent and occasional black moviegoers in America, though I’m sure that part of the number is also infrequent moviegoers (1 or 2 times a year). This is a remarkable show of muscle. I’m not 100% sure how the industry responds. After all, history tells us that recreating a phenomenon – with any group or every group – is no mean feat. I would expect WB/DC to put a black Green Lantern film on speed dial immediately. And I would expect a $15 million – $20 million payday for Michael B. Jordan in the next year.

The film is also, obviously, huge with white audiences and all the others. (But more on that yesterday.)

Game Night found an audience as the only wide release comedy in the marketplace and really, the only wide comedy since Pitch Perfect 2 and Father Figures back on December 22. So really good date. Some pretty good reviews. But still kinda soft. I haven’t seen the movie, so I can’t explain the movie vs marketing variable fully. But from the outside, the marketing was pretty blurry. Maybe it will play for a while, as the filmmakers’ previous Horrible Bosses did.

Annihilation is causing fights amongst film critics and writers. Is it a great movie that was dumped. Is it a problem movie that was unsellable? What would it have been like if it went straight-to-streaming? Bottom line is that it will make as much as Ex Machina and perhaps a little more. But while that was a great win for A24, this one is less so for a big studio like Paramount. The film also cost more than double what Ex Machina did.

Fifty Shades Freed is doing well… but not nearly as well as the first two films… though it may catch up with #2.

Jumanji is still chugging away towards $400 million domestic and just short of $1 billion worldwide.

The Greatest Showman will pass Chicago domestically. Probably not Grease. But worldwide, the way the international market has expanded, it will pass both worldwide. Beauty & The Beast and La La Land stand in the way of the top 2 slots. That means that the top 3 musicals ever were released in the last 14 months… which means??? More musicals?

Both Searchlight Best Picture contenders are shedding screens, but holding well anyway. Interestingly, after falling behind Shape of Water, Three Billboards has now moved ahead this weekend – for this weekend, Shape remaining ahead by $5m or so – and is the top Best Picture contending grosser this weekend. Does that mean anything? Impossible to say. Both films are also quite close to the box office gross at the time of the awards of 12 Years A Slave. Also probably irrelevant.

BP contenders 2018-02-25 at 10.24.26 AM

As noted before – and all rules are made to be broken – no film in the top 3 grossers amongst Best Picture nominees has won since the expansion beyond 5 said nominees. Twice the #4 has won (Argo and The King’s Speech). Last year was the first time the bottom grosser at the time voting ended won the Oscar.

Does box office matter in Oscar voting? Not like it used to… not at all. And so it goes…


Friday Estimates by T’Klady

Fri Estimates 2018-02-24 at 12.47.07 PM

Okay… Black Panther.

The definitive answer to how super-huge Black Panther will be in the box office pantheon will come from foreign ticket sales. Domestically, it will be Top 10 and maybe Top 5 all-time. There have been 32 billion-dollar worldwide movies. Black Panther will make it 33. Only two of those billionaires have been under 50% foreign (The Dark Knight – $46.8% – and Rogue One – 49.6%). Black Panther may avoid the under-50 group, but it doesn’t look like it will be by a lot.

Some want the massive box office success of Black Panther to stand as proof of something other than itself, as well as Marvel’s unique place in the market. This is as wrongheaded in success as it is in failure.

Likewise, the international success (relative to domestic) of Moonlight and 12 Years A Slave is the norm for Best Picture winners, the only exceptions since The Expansion to five or more Best Picture titles are Spotlight, which was less than $2m off, and Argo, the only BP winner in these last that had a wide release.

But successful and failing movies have their orbit and they don’t tend to fit (or create) trend lines, which was a different story during the DVD era. International box office has become much more significant than DVD sales and the complications of selling movie theater tickets worldwide are very different than selling DVDs were.

Attitudes about race vary across the globe and to deny that is counter-intuitive. But that is no excuse for blithely backhanding every film starring primarily black talent. Aside from a few star directing names, virtually no one buying tickets really cares whether the person behind the camera is male or female, black or white. But having perspectives other than white male behind the camera makes good business sense on its face, just like having new talent . Neither argument is heeded often enough and getting a job directing a studio movie for the first time remains a rarity.

Black stories have value in the marketplace and not just with black people. This is an undeniable truth, but not the only truth.American theatrical films, for almost the entire existence of distribution, have all-white as the norm and anything off that was “a variant.” But America and the world have changed. And Hollywood is super-slow to make change without a financial gun to its head.

It’s hard to imagine – especially if you are under 40 – but DVD is only 21 years old. And the decision to make the format into a sell-through item instead of a rental was the first major paradigm shift in film business history that was was not driven by impending financial disaster. Cable and VHS before it were also voluntary, but those business models were  designed to fit the industry as it existed, not to change the landscape dramatically. Sell-through DVD changed everything within a few years, as DVD revenues outpaced theatrical box office and priorities shifted in every phase of making movies.

DVD was a boon, for a while, for black cinema in America as well. There was a lot of money out there for black movies, as in all genres. When the DVD business started to crater, studios saw disappearing revenues in every area of their business and adjusted their risk/reward analysis. But this narrowed “safe” choices, certainly beyond logic. But they were working backwards, focused on lost revenue, not building new revenue. That is the nature of working backwards.

The film industry did, actually, go backwards for black talent.

Then the pendulum started swinging toward both black talent and women.

In 2008, there was Twilight, Sex & The City, and Mamma Mia!. Two of the three were directed by women and all three were extremely profitable. I believe that Mamma Mia!, with a tiny budget and a $610 million worldwide gross, was the most profitable movie of that year.

So what happened?

Sequels to all three films would be directed by men (albeit some really gentle, kind men). The Twilight franchise made an absolute fortune, S&TC couldn’t find its way to a third film (although the second underperformed the first, it still made money). And Mamma Mia! 2 is arriving this summer.

In 2017, Wonder Woman would be seen as the gamechanger. We’ll see. The game still needs changing, but not just on the highest-profile films – where much of the credit can go to the franchise game – but in the middle of the industry. The slow reemergence of the black industry really started in 2009, with Fast & Furious, which was directed by a Taiwanese American and didn’t have any black leads, although the returning Vin Diesel calls himself a “person of color.” But the success of that film, reviving the franchise for Universal, which had Tokyo Drift, set up Fast Five, where the additions of The Rock, Ludacris, and Tyrese in major roles changed the game.

In 2012, there was Denzel’s biggest film without a major white star (the still growing Ryan Reynolds), over $200m worldwide, Safe House. There was, despite racial controversy and Leo, Django Unchained. There was Men in Black III, which reminded us of Will Smith’s star power (even though it was fading). And there was the rise of Kevin Hart, with Think Like A Man.

2013 was a slightly down year for “black films” at the box office, with Fast and Furious 6, 42, 2 Guns, and The Best Man Holiday the only Top 50 movies that year. There was a nice tag, however, with 12 Years A Slave winning Best Picture.

2014 saw four Kevin Hart movies, including his Ice Cube team-up for his first $100m grosser (Ride Along) and a hit sequel (Think Like A Man Too). Guardians of The Galaxy featured actors of color, albeit covered in other colors. Denzel revived The Equalizer with director Antoine Fuqua for Fuqua’s first $100m domestic hit. Annie was re-booted as a black musical. Let’s Be Cops was a surprise hit for the New Girl team of Wayans & Johnson. And The Rock flexed his Hercules, which more than doubled its domestic gross overseas. That’s seven of the top 50 domestic grossers that year. 14%. Plus Selma and No Good Deed over $50m domestic.

2015 was led by Furious 7, then Straight Outta Compton, San Andreas, and Creed in the Top 30 (13%), with two of those films directed by black directors. Add another 2 Kevin Hart films (Get Hard, The Wedding Ringer) rounding out the Top 50 (12%).

In 2016, Suicide Squad, Moana, Hidden Figures, and Central Intelligence (should ID4-2 be included) all cracked $100 million domestic. 13% of all $100m dom grossers. The Magnificent Seven, Ride Along 2, and Boo! A Madea Halloween added to the Top 50. (14%) Those last three were directed by black directors as well. And Moonlight won Best Picture.

And last year, it was Get Out, Kong: Skull Island, and Girls Trip in the $100m club (9%), though two of those films were hugely profitable with big grosses against small budgets, both directed by black directors. The Hitman’s Bodyguard and Baywatch rounded out the Top 50. Close by were Dark Tower and Tyler Perry’s Boo 2! A Madea Halloween.

Now, Black Panther… the killer king of black box office, taking its place with the very top box office hits of all time. And unlike some of the bigger hits of these last seven years, it has impeccable racial credibility. It’s not relying on Dwayne Johnson or Will Smith as the star, though it is worth noting that 9 of the last 15 years have had a black man (Will Smith) or a mixed race man (Dwayne) as the biggest star in the world. The director is black. Both writers are black. The cast didn’t include a big name white star for safety (wonderful as Andy Serkis is chewing the hell out of the scenery as a South African). And the story – almost the entirety of the film – is set in Africa.

Ryan Coogler gets a free hand to do as he wants for at least a couple films (more if he does the sequel). Stars are being made. Some irrational resistance will be broken.

But the war for inclusion is not being fought at Disney, where they have been embracing both black directors and female directors in the last couple of years in a way that they never had before and that is still unique in the industry. The war will be on the $30 million comedy or drama, where rising black directors (who are not one of the handful already well established and on a lot of wish lists) are not always being considered.

As with women, the challenge is that there are 4 or 5 now-name directors of color who make a film every 2 or 3 years. They may not care to chase commerciality, even when they have had real commercial success. I would love to see Steve McQueen’s Bond film with Michael Fassbender as Bond and a female villain who is much smarter and morally complex than Bond, but I don’t see it coming. Barry Jenkins took his free pass and is adapting a James Baldwin novel. Malcolm Lee can probably get any comedy he wants, but is an unlikely as for a $200 million production.

This is similar to “the Kathryn Bigelow problem,” as the brilliant director doesn’t want to work endlessly and her ambitions for depth in her work have become more important than hit status for her. If she is the de facto leader of the movement for women, does she need an $800 million grosser to help? Or does doing weighty work move the bar?

Anyway… this turned out to not be much about weekend box office. But Black Panther will probably be disappointing – in context only – internationally… and we really shouldn’t give a shit. It will be a massive hit everywhere. And it’s about the blackness. And it is about the Marvelness. And it is about a terrific movie. (And yes, I know some of you don’t think it is that great, but while the car chase isn’t Billy Friedkin, it is always wildly inventive and wonderful in a very different way than the gritty realism we all also love.

* * *

Game Night is not a disaster, but not a smash. $50m looks like the cap unless it takes off in some unexpected way. What was WB selling? I wouldn’t mind seeing it. But the call to action was very, very soft. Horrible Bosses, which was nicely leggy, had some more star power, but it also had a really clear idea. This one seems to be the comedy version of The Game… kinda…. sorta… maybe.

And Annihilation is an interesting movie that is getting dumped on 2,000 screens, right after the failure to launch mother!. I don’t know whether there was a better box office answer. The great Ex Machina did $25 million without ever having a $3 million day. But that was A24 and their ad spends are not like Paramount. It is hard for a major studio to release films that way and to be satisfied. Success in that way almost looks like failure because the special skill of studio marketing is scaling things up. But maybe a thinker like Annihilation is really meant to gross $30 million max and to become a legend in post-theatrical.


Trailering Claire Denis’ LET THE SUN SHINE IN (1’45”)

Black Panther: The Math, Objectively – Part 2, Opening Weekend

Okay… huge number.

Tracking was low. Not a shock. When you get past $100 million, tracking is mostly a crap shoot.

As it turned out, Disney did itself a great service by letting the film stew in its strong media reaction for what seemed like a week too long in a very soft early 2018 movie market. This is the first legit blockbuster coming into the market since Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. And what was always expected to open around $100 million then took off as a major cultural event.

People were inspired to see this film, not wanting to be left out of the conversation over the weekend at at the office or at school on Tuesday.

$235 million 4-day.

What does that mean in basic box office math?

I think $100 million or so. 10 million or so people going to Black Panther that would not have been expected to go to any character-launching comic book movie, even a well-reviewed one.

And if I had to guess – and I do – I would guess that the expected black American audience of about $47 million for a $235 million opening was more like $90 million here.

Looking earlier at the BP math, I would assume that half of that number represents about 85% of all domestic black frequent moviegoers and half of that number is likely made up of occasional and infrequent domestic black moviegoers. An extremely strong turnout in both categories.

But those numbers still would leave Black Panther as a massive out-sized opening amongst non-blacks (whites, Hispanics/Latinos, Asians), pulling in $145 million or so, about $25 million more in non-black audiences compared to an opening like Deadpool or Suicide Squad. That’s 17% above in non-black ticket sales vs the huge openings mentioned.

There will be someone out here who thinks I am undercutting this opening. But I am not. Not at all.

Eliminate the black box office bump and you are still looking at a Top 12 all-time opening. Everything that anyone suggests regarding culture shift is just as true (or just as untrue, if you don’t subscribe to the notion) with $45 million less than the actual 4-day number. The idea that the specific number was critical stopped being an issue around a $150 million domestic launch.

Internationally, still unknown. What we do know is that the $169m opening weekend from about 70% of the international market will likely lead to no less than $550 million internationally. And we know that this could as much as double to $1.1 billion internationally. There is no way of knowing for another week or two.

Still, it seems impossible for Black Panther to come up short of $1.1 billion worldwide by the end of its theatrical run. $600 million domestic and $500 million international seems like the bottom. $1.3 billion and a spot in the all-time Top 10 Worldwide (until the next Avengers movie and Jurassic World 2, at least) would not be shocking at this point.

The argument floating out there that these sensational numbers will change how “Hollywood” and particularly the international theatrical market see “black movies” is a more troubling conversation. A look at the list of billion-dollar worldwide movies quickly make clear that these massive commercial events do not change the market very much. You could make the argument that Marvel’s overall success has prompted more efforts to make comic book films, but I don’t think that is any real cultural shift. The evolution of the technology and Marvel’s successful navigation of storytelling seems more the story. We don’t see the influence of the Cameron films or the Rings films or Pirates or Transformers or even the physical slapstick of the Minions reflected in what has  been produced since. There has been some Twilight imitation and maybe it begat The Hunger Games, but the failure of the genre beyond those two series proves the point, perhaps.

Under 30s are a lot less racially discriminating than their parents everywhere in the world and that the bias was even greater at the international box office than here in the U.S. Fear of The Other in America is excessive and paranoid. While still dead wrong, the sense of threat is more real in much of the rest of the world. Some will tell you that this is a myth perpetuated by a small cabal of film buyers clinging desperately to their racist ways. I do not believe this is so.

Seventeen of Will Smith’s twenty-three films have done more than 50% of their business overseas. And the few that haven’t usually contained very American content.

Denzel had a consistent run of 50%+ overseas from 2006 – 2010… but hasn’t seen the better side of 50% since 2011, whether in dramas or action movies, with name co-stars or not. His best performance ever overseas was 65% with Déjà Vu, which had no major white co-star.

Eddie Murphy cracked 50% overseas with just 7 of 23 of his live-action films.

Dwayne Johnson is over 58% overseas in the last decade with everything except his straight comedies. (Baywatch, however, did 67% of its revenue overseas.)

I don’t believe there is a “we won’t see movies with black people” blockade overseas. Comedies have a hard time overseas, period. Big action movies play everywhere, regardless of race… and in many cases, better because of casts that are international and racially inclusive.

And dramas are complicated. They are complicated for all American movies that don’t have big movie stars… and for many that do.

12 Years A Slave did more than double its successful American gross overseas. 70% of total box office. Look at the cast of the film of all colors and nationalities and how their dramas did overseas, since and before, and you see a lot of films that didn’t do a whole lot of business in America or overseas, the exceptions being the few dramas set internationally. (This is particularly a Brad Pitt thing… and you wonder how consciously he makes the choice to set his dramas outside of America.)

This is what I do think Black Panther will change. Michael B. Jordan will be, if he so chooses, an action star who does business worldwide. Lupita Nyong’o and Letitia Wright will get opportunities they may not have otherwise gotten in colorblind casting and will be able to fund indies on their names. Danai Gurira will be a curiosity who directors will want to figure out and may or may not find a career as an action star who is also female… and black. Winston Duke and his big smile, deep voice and 6′ 5″ frame will work every day he wants to work for decades and may turn out to be the multi-faceted actor that Forest Whittaker has been or perhaps “just” the next Bill Duke (who I love to watch) or maybe he is John Lithgow waiting to happen… who knows? This is a terrific cast and they now have box office cred and the world will be their oysters for a few years and they will do what they do.

I would hate to see Ryan Coogler sucked into another franchise. He has the wherewithal to get something about which he is passionate made now and he can be comfortable that if he loses every dime the film costs, he can do Black Panther 2 and get a $10m+ payday. So he is set for a while. I want to see his next hard-to-get funded passion project made by Fox 2000 as they segue into Disney.

Much of the team under Coogler are established veterans. Hannah Beachler is fascinating and quirky and she may have the biggest upside caused by this film as she has the least feature experience. Others, like Rachel Morrison and Ruth Carter are already well-known crushers.

This is how I see change in the film business. Seed the field. Success breeds opportunity. The more seeds, the more success, the more colorblind (and gender-blind) the industry appears to become.

The future that is really interesting is someone like Lisa C. Satriano, Black Panther‘s first AD. Does she want to direct? She’s done a lot of big movies as a first.

Claudia Castello co-edited Coogler’s first two films and did some work on Black Panther… and cut two more films coming out this year. Will she become one of the hot name among editors with these credits?

Seed the field.

Black Panther was always likely to be a winner. It wasn’t expected to be this big. But the fact that it is a winner, combined with the high quality of the work by Ryan Coogler and the people he hired is what will put another brick in the wall of change. $1.3 billion or $600 million? It’s great to go big. But James Wan hasn’t caused Hollywood to start recruiting for mega-movie directors in Malaysia. It just doesn’t work that way. Things are changed by the people in the fight, not by the details of the gross.

The success of Black Panther makes things better for those who were already well placed in the industry and makes room for people who are still getting started, even if they already had a foothold. No distributor in Europe is going to book a $20 million drama starring and made by people of color because of Black Panther. But they may be more inclined to book the Lupita Nyong’o drama or the Danai Gurira sexy actioner directed by Steven Soderbergh or Ryan Coogler’s next film that is more like Fruitvale Station than like Creed. Those are 3 wins. And if even just 1 of those 3 hits, that is another win, squared.

And that is how the movie world changes.


Weekend Estimates From Down Wakanda Way

BO 180218





Friday Box Office Estimates

180217 box


BYO Wakanda (Hold Those Spoilers, Even Tiny Ones)

Marvel Studios' BLACK PANTHER..Okoye (Danai Gurira)..Ph: Film Frame..©Marvel Studios 2018

Can we start without spoilers? End of the weekend, after more people have had a chance to see the film, there will be a place to freely spoiler!


Weekend Estimates by Finally Closed Shades Klady

Weekend Estimates 2018-02-11 at 9.18.42 AM

The final 50 Shades movie looks like the first that will fail to gross $100 million domestic. Still, $250 million worldwide seems likely, so Universal can still make a bundle and the Chinese can get their money out. Peter Rabbit delivers an Emoji Movie opening, sans Poop. And The 15:17 to Paris chugs out of the station slowly. Jumanji and Greatest Showman continue to hold, their 2018 numbers outgrossing any 2018 release to date.


Friday Estimates

Screen Shot 2018-02-10 at 1.08.38 PM


Jóhann Jóhannsson Was 48

1 Comment »

Black Panther: The Math, Objectively

Here is where we are heading on Black Panther.

Tracking indicates, roughly, a $150 million opening.

Huge number. 10% bigger than Deadpool. About 15% less than Beauty & The Beast.

But I am interested in the long term: people are focused on this as a breakthrough for black cinema. But I think it is a normal comic book movie with a not-the-norm visual look and style that can be seen in the ads… plus the extra commercial kick of a unique appeal to black moviegoers. That is, in theory, where the big opportunity is.

The comp would be Wonder Woman, which behaved like most good comic book movies, plus – I estimate – 20% to 25% added domestic gross from women who would normally not go to a comic book movie. There may have been some kick overseas as well, but in the rest of the world, the film was the lowest-grossing of the four DC films in 2016/2017.

The interesting element on Black Panther is that the potential group of ticket buyers who are African American who don’t normally go to comic book movies is smaller than the potential group of female American ticket buyers.

There are roughly 5.5 million African American frequent moviegoers (12 or more movies a year).

There are roughly 21 million African American occasional moviegoers (between 2 and 11 movies a year).

If Black Panther draws, say, 25% more black occasional moviegoers than the approximate 5% of normal attendance in that group and all the frequents, that’s about 10.5 million black ticket buyers domestically… or about $120 million (roughing in IMAX, 3D, a lean to evening and weekend shows, and heavy viewing in cities) coming from black ticket buyers, over perhaps $75 million otherwise.

Then add to that, African Americans who rarely, if ever, go to the movies, the same way conservative whites came out for Passion of the Christ or American Sniper. 35 million opportunities. Find just 5% and that’s another $20 million. Of course, with something like The Passion, that opportunity was nine times bigger… reaching white and brown audiences, as well as religious black audiences.

Regardless of opening, that Black Panther will be end up past Deadpool domestically… and probably just short of Wonder Woman, although $400 million is a real possibility. And I think $75 million – $100 million of that will be African Americans inspired to see a film led by African Americans in front of, and behind the camera.

The reality overseas is going to be the reality overseas. It will not likely be the same smash internationally. Anything over $400 million will be a win. Anything over $350 million will not be a disappointment. And if it’s over $450 million, it will be a breakthrough, important commercial moment for international box office for a movie driven almost exclusively by black faces.


BYOB: Super Bowl

byob super bowl 2018


Weekend Estimates by Wardrobe Malfunction

Wknd Est 2018-02-04 at 11.35.37 AM

Aside from single-screen releases of Oru Nalla Naal Paathu Soiren and Kiarostami’s final film 24 Frames, A Fantastic Woman is the only opening over $4,100 per screen this weekend.

Seven of the nine Best Picture nominees are still in theaters (limited releases of Get Out and Dunkirk lasted only a week),

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 11.50.01 AM

The Shape of Water chugged past Three Billboards and Lady Bird, but is in no immediate danger of cracking the Top 3 of the nine (#1 Dunkirk, #2 Get Out, #3 The Post), which would put it in the danger zone, where no film has won Best Picture since the expansion from 5 BP nominees. Box office film #4 of the BP nominees has won the big award twice in eight years… 25%. Could leap to 33.3% this year.

Only The Post and The Shape of Water are on over 1,500 screens.

Darkest Hour had a small expansion, and it and Shape should be over $50 million by the end of next weekend.

I, Tonya is a big hit for Neon, getting a film to the high end of A24 business in just its first year, when it took A24 three years. (A24, of course, is cracking their ceiling with Lady Bird, which could do close to double what the distributor’s previous top title did.)

Hostiles also is over $20 million for Entertainment Studios, though this isn’t close to the new distributor’s one hit so far, 47 Meters Down.

International worked magic for Ferdinand, which didn’t quite land here for Fox, but is nearing $300m worldwide, running just behind The Greatest Showman.

Jumanji will pass $900 million in a couple weeks, making it Top 5 for 2017, but coming short of the next level at $1 billion. Notably, that will leave only one comic book movie in the Top 5. (Star Wars, Beauty, F&F, Despicable 3.)

Enjoy the Super Bowl. I was born in Philly and am a Dolphins fan, so I should hate The Pats. But I don’t. They have earned their success, even if they cheat sometimes. I’d like an Eagles win, but I won’t be comfortable with the idea, even if they have a big lead, until the clock is under a minute or Tom Brady gets crushed in a horrible wardrobe malfunction and Timberlake has to play for him. And if the Pats win another, God bless ’em… it’s been an amazing run… and even if they keep it together for another couple years, the agony of being in their division is almost over. Hope it’s a great game!


The Hot Blog

Quote Unquotesee all »

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