Box Office Archive for June, 2008

Weekend Estimates by Klady



Friday Estimates by Klady

Get Smart opened to a number right along the lines of last summer’s I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, which is a success for WB marketing. My guess – and no one out there is doing anything but guessing at this point – is that the casting picked up viewers from each of the stars – Carell, Hathaway, Dwayne Johnson, and Alan Arkin – each of whom has a very specific constituency. This is the summer that What Stays In Vegas has grossed the quietest $77 million you will ever see, but not hear. Get Smart is The Next Comedy for anyone other than Sandler fans. After two weeks of Hulk, Panda, Zohan, and Night, it seems to have been a chance for everyone who wasn’t into those narrow titles to get out of the hear.
And the next comedies are weeks away with Meet Dave, Momma Mia!, and The Step Bros all into July… so get a laugh while you can. And prepare for the four-quadrant assault of Wall-E and Hancock with a strong boy showing for Wanted.
The Love Guru is a flop for Mike Myers, though his career is so limited, it’s hard to put into career perspective. This opening was worse than Wayne’s World… better than WWII. Very Balls of Fury.
It’s lovely to see a studio try to cash in on their gossip columnist flacks to spin that they spent less to sell the film than normal. But if you were watching the media, Guru was running spots endlessly, as was Smart (including both films with 30s on The Office this week).. but Smart had actual tie-in ads – for which the advertiser, like Sierra Mist Undercover Orange, pays the cost of the ad buy – while Guru had a total of ZERO. Also, the last push by WB, which probably meant nothing at the box office, wasn’t for The Rock, who has been the main focus of ads for the last month, especially in cross- promotionals, but is focused on improvised spots featuring a more familiar Carell. Clearly what WB was getting as feedback was that fans weren’t seeing Carell in the way they like him. So, improv spots with SC as an entertainment journalist interviewing Rock and Hathaway, with Hathaway in front of a CG Kremlin backdrop, etc. An interesting idea – advertise the movie by avoiding the movie – but as I say, probably too late to have much effect, one way or the other.


Weekend Estimates by Klady

More to say?
Sandler’s second Zohan weekend was a steep drop in his history. My sense is that the movie is a tweener. Sony did a fine job of launching the film, but while this Sandler movie would likely be pleasing to a wider-than-usual demographic, it’s not quite well enough made to be a crossover film for Sandler. It’s a small shame, since a director one step up on the skill scale could have taken this material to a level that would have made it even more intriguing. But for the Sandler base, it’s got a lot of good silly, but perhaps they were all at The Incredible Hulk or The Happening this weekend… or perhaps they find sex with women over 60 or political subtext or the overall message of acceptance unappealing.
Fox (and Len) estimated the The Happening number to just over the Unbreakable number. Who knows whether that will hold tomorrow? If it does, it will be his third best opening and either his third or fourth best grosser in his six-film primary career. (I really don’t think Wide Awake is relevant, unless you are talking about his ouerve.)
The Incredible Hulk looks like it will be about 13% behind Hulk. It



It’s pouring in NYC, so I guess I should be happy to be returning to sunny Calfornia…
The Incredible Hulk now looks to open slightly behind Hulk, with somewhat longer legs to come… but don’t expect much more than $175m… which is a win, even with an alleged $150m budget. Marvel has something good going and needs to be cautious not to convince themselves that there is more to it than there is.
The scary R rating for The Happening, combined with the underestimated box office power of Mark Wahlberg makes the film no Lady in the Water. Still, it ain’t no Signs either. Wait and see…
Here in NY, I’ve had three remarkable theater experiences… two of which I can write about. The first is the Public Theater version of Hamlet, which opens officially in Central Park in a few days. The other, much to my shock, was Boeing – Boeing (which should be Boeing-Boeing-Boeing). Both shows mark the wider debut of lead actors who will soon become part of acting lore and, if only in support, acting fame in the US.
More on both when I get to a real keyboard…


Klady's Weekend Estimates – 6/8/8

Adam Sandler’s newest, which got surprisingly pleasant reviews from AO Scott and Ella Taylor, amongst others, has turned out to be right around the middle of the Sander/Sony list of releases. (The final numbers could well be up from the Sunday projection.)
My personal observation here in Los Angeles was surprise at the number of unexpected Sandler attendees at a sold-out Friday 1:30p performance and one close to sold-out shortly thereafter at 2:40p who were Hassidic and/or female. I don’t really trust observational analyses, especially at Los Angeles theaters. But the idea that this film is reaching this unexpected audience is interesting.
Also, the movie itself has a completely unexpected embrace of what can best be described as The Angry Hillary Voters


Box Office Hell – June 6



Tech Challenged Box Office

So… Klady has Sex at 56.1m… a bit of a comedown after the massive Friday… but still well beyond the hopes and dreams of the fired New Line team. Why won’t anyone else report that GeniusJeff Robinov passed on the project? I don’t know.
The real question of whether this film is a cash cow or a moderate success will be determined by next weekend’s numbers and international. As for being “the ultimate chick flick,” there is a very good chance that this film will never earn or net as much as Prada or various Nancy Meyers or Nora Ephron films. Time will tell.
After the second weekend – and that is reality now – Indy remains about $35m ahead of Iron Man, though Indy lost about $6m of that lead second weekend vs second weekend. With a $60m spread between the films, it still seems sure that Indy will pass Iron Man, but they look to be pretty close in the end. The 54% drop would be great after most huge openings, but the 5-day nature of Indy’s launch suggests that the drop is just barely passable.


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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