Box Office Archive for July, 2008

Hot Button – Batting Around Titanic Numbers

Is it anything less than a dereliction of duty, whether it be Horn’s choice or his editors’ choice, to not even mention the worldwide box office success of Titanic, which really is what makes the box office landmark the equal of what


Sunday Estimates by Klady



Friday Estimates by Klady

What can one say about The Dark Knight‘s number? The film is about $477 million ahead of the previous highest 8 day grosser in history.
In spite of what seened to many to be a low key campaign, Step Brothers will open in the top group of Ferrell numbers, really only overshadowed by Talladega Nights.
X-Files 2: I Want To Know Why They Thought Someone Was Coming is a bit of a wreck. Patrick Goldstein’s obsession with Fox’s Rotten Tomato scores will continue and be supported by another lame box office showing. Still… this is the tough walk of all studios. Last year, tehy scored a massive worldwide hit with a TV show that was still on the air, The Simpsons. This year, they get Chris Carter and a franchise that once had a cult behind it… and boom. (Perhaps the first question is why the studio released a film to this demo during ComicCon… the crowd there represents as much as another million at the box office… which in a situation like this, actually matters.)
Mamma Mia! is now edging out Hairspray for bragging rights to being #3 muisical of all time… and more importantly, a gross of over $120 million. People keep wanting to lazily blame the popularity of the musical on stage, but that has not been a sure bet in the past. I still give Universal marketing ALL the credit. They have positioned and continue to position the film as a light, happy alternative for women in a very dark summer. Yes, it sucks. But if you are a woman and you want to go to the movies and want something light, what the hell else is there for you in theaters?
Hancock passed $200m and Wall-E is almost there, but they seem to have had some life sucked out of them by The Dark Knight. Hellboy 2 passed the first film’s total gross, domestically, in the last couple of days… but Batman and a market that seems to be just about at the limit – between $70m and $90m for the franchise, max, even though Guillermo is brilliant and created some of the summer’s finest images – make the box office somewhat of a dissapointment for Universal, which ended up kicking in a lot more (30%+) to make the film than oriiginally intended. International on the first was 2/3 of the domestic… U will hope to build on that this time out with a bigger visual feast.
The folks left at Paramount Vantage and their bosses who moved to The Big Show pushed hard on American Teen… but it seems to be a prank call. The film will be fortunate to do $7000 per screen on 5 screens. To offer perspective, the company’s Shine A Light (the Scorsese Stones doc) opened on 276 screens to $5391 per screen. Trumbo opened a few weeks ago on 3 screens and did $9375 per. Young @ Heart opened to $12,734 per screen on 4 this spring. So we don’t know exactly where Teen is going from here. But with some scathing critical reviews – too scathing, too unkind, too suspicious – and no apparent luck in getting around art house habits (where critics still matter) to find an audience of teens, it doesn’t look good. Fortunately, if it loses money – and there’s always DVD – it will be a minor note on the Lesher list of cash drains (which includes money-loser Babel, which some blooger credited with being past the red ink the other day). Deck chairs on the Titanic, folks.


Box Office Hell LIVES!



Hot Button – Forbes' List Is A Disaster

Why are journalists who know better talking about this idiotic Forbes value list as though it made sense?
And then I realize


Bat Bucks

A blog regular asked about the dollars on The Dark Knight and, frankly, my head hadn


More On Weekend Box Office

Mojo is back to its normal, high quality service, so I can crunch a few numbers.
If you want to know why other studios are bitching about WB


Weekend Estimates by Klady

First… I would like to protest, yet again, the idiotic use of estimated ticket sales as a measure of ANYTHING other than journalists looking for an angle. Paul Dergarabedian is a good guy, but he doesn’t have the slightest fucking idea what the average ticket price is right now and more importantly, has no inkling what tickets to Spider-Man 3 were sold for versus The Dark Knight. None. And with due respect to AP’s Dave Germain, another good and smart man, reporting that shite is lousy journalism… because it is a FALSE stat.
How many tickets were sold in which cities at what prices at what times? If you don’t know, then SHUT UP and tell us about what you DO know and not what you are guessing at for no reason other than to try to differentiate your ideas from all the other drooling media attention seekers out there.
It’s bad enough that people have now institutionalized what studios tell them on Sunday morning as fact, staring dead in the face the FACT that no one knows for sure what today’s box office will be. Media is guessing. Dan Fellman is guessing. Len Klady is guessing. And we all do that. And almost no one reports the final numbers. And that’s what it is. But at least put a damned “estimated” on the number instead of hiding behind the tail end of the sentence of “according to WB,” as though real people are supposed to be able to parse that out as “the people who are selling you the movie are guessing at this number, 25% of which has not happened yet.”


Friday Estimates by Klady

chart fixed… Hellboy & Journey cumes were flipped
I don’t know why Klady’s Dark Knight number is different than elsewhere, other to remind everyone that Friday numbers this morning are actually an estimate… another forgotten reality.
Sane people are continuing to be circumspect about what the weekend total will be. Comparisons are pretty much worthless. The Star War “late-night” screenings were on a Wednesday night, not a Thursday night, so that dynamic is quite different. (Sith was as $83.5m by the end of Friday.) Spider-Man 3 did some midnight screenings, I think, but not with the heavy push of the TDK push. (How many in Dark Knight’s fan base get their head turned by the TDK initials, remembering when audio tape was hot, hot hot?)
Spider-Man 3


About Those SELL OUTS!!!!!

I hate to offer a look at the truth of what’s going on out there, but by way of the and Fandango ticket sales websites…
Here in Los Angeles, at The Grove, the most often sold out movie theater in the Los Angeles area, there are, indeed six The Dark Knight screenings starting between midnight and 1am that at sold out. There are no later screenings currently scheduled. And as I recall – since I was there – the last Star Wars film was on more screens after midnight, all sold out as well.
But with all the “SELL OUT” screaming, there is a grand total of ONE screening of the film on Friday that is currently sold out. 8pm.
Want to go at noon? No problem. 7p? No problem. 10? No problem.
Saturday and Sunday have NO sell-outs.
You can still get online tickets for the 12:45a show in Century City, where they have 8 screens going.
Friday, the only sell-out os 7:15p. Zero sell outs Saturday or Sunday.
The Mann Bruin in Westwood still has seats for midnight, as do all but a handful of theaters in the Los Angeles area.
On Friday, the are a TOTAL of 3 sell-outs in ALL serviced theaters within 15 miles of Beverly Hills.
Fandango theaters don’t have A SINGLE sell out on Friday. Not one.
The opening is going to be tremendous. But part of this is hype that the media is participating in with the support of and Fandango, whose only interest is to make YOU think there is a ticketing gridlock and that you need to pay to use their services RIGHT NOW.
And yes, 7p on Friday and Saturday night is going to sell out at most theaters from Santa Monica to Hollywood. But not today. Not even close. has sell outs after midnight Thursday of 66 screenings in 15 theaters. Fandango has 16 post-midnight sell outs in 6 theaters. That’s 82 sell outs in LA. 3 More over the weekend. 85. Figure the same in Manhattan and you’re at 170.
One more bit of perspective. Even if, against all mathematical logic, there were 4000 sell outs


For The Record… Episode One

1. There has been exactly one July opening of over $90 million in history. That was for the first Pirates of the Caribbean sequel, which opened to $136 million. Number two is Spider-Man 2 at $88 million. Transformers did $155m by the end of its first weekend… but that also was 6.5 days worth of box office.
2. The biggest opening weekend EVER for a musical was last summer


Weekend Estimates by Klady



Friday Estimates by Klady – 7/12/08

Hellboy II: The Golden Army made a nice step up from the first film, looking towards the mid-30s from the first Hellboy


Klady's Weekend Estimates – Spirit of 7/6

Hancock is Will Smith


Indiana Jones & The Temple Of Cash

To answer ye olde question, what will Lucas/Spielberg/Ford make on Indiana Jones & The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull?
The Paramount deal was 87.5% to Lucas/Spielberg/Ford after a set breakeven point. LAT put that number at $400 million, which has to be low, unless you assume that Par gets a cut on DVD and other ancillaries as well, which I will do for the moment.
The film is $317 million over $400 million at this point. So


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