Box Office Archive for August, 2008

Weekend Estimates by Klady

Well… that would be me being wrong. Tropic Thunder‘s number was right in line with their Friday estimate. The House Bunny didn’t even have as good a weekend trajectory as Traveling Pants 2… evne though Pants had a Wed and Thurs to eat weekened dollars. (For the sake of accuracy, Bunny is about 25% behind Pants at the end of the first weekend.)


Friday Estimates by Klady

(Changed Out, 11:55a… waiting on corrected chart)
Okay. Trying to care…
I’m not sure how Steve Mason is pulling a Tropic Thunder win out of his ass this weekend, but anything is possible. If you base Tropic’s wekeend number on last weekend’s trajectory, it will do $16.2 million. If you base the House Bunny trajectory on Forgetting Sarah Marshall, the last comedy with female appeal targetting teens and college kids (along with Baby Mama, whose opening was almost identical), THB opens to $17.1 million. I can only assume that Mason is being told not to expect a Saturday bump because… uh… it’s not the date movie this weekend?
But again… anything can happen.
Much more likely to shrink like a hack director getting hit in the pants with ice water as Michael Bay dials up Natalie Marttinez’s cell number is Death Race, which will do a little better than last year’s Jason Statham August 24 opening, WAR.


BO Add

Sorry… Clone Wars got lost from the last post.
$20m and change is still possible for a film targetting mostly kids.
Regardless, a $50m total is enough to make this a profitable release for all involved. WB gets paid for distribtion. And Lucasfilm makes a little on the box office, but a nice chunk more on the pay tv sale comng off a WB theatrical release. Plus, the release should actually increase DVD sales.
Apparently, there was some great AICN drama, again, in Moriarty’s review. Can’t wait to read that!
PS – Now I have read it… and I have to say, I have rarely thought less of Drew than after reading that crap. Nothing yet has so clearly and concisely expressed how out of touch with reality and how unaware of how the real world works and how profoundly in denial that Drew can be. Sad, really. Anyway…


Friday Numbers

Once again, iPhoning it in means less detail. But…
Tropic Thunder is making excuses for rolling out slower than a Pineapple Express, the most bizarre one – especially for a movie that chose a release date during the Olympics – being that Michael Phelps is slowing the movie’s roll. Or could it be… uh… that a comedy about arrogant people in Hollywood appeals more to the geeks and the older critics who are enraged by Holllywood excess than anyone else?
The big problem is not the marketing – the thing has been shoved down America’s gullet endlessly for months – or even the number – though the arrogance of this and Pneapple on back-to-back weeks is breathtaking – but the price tag. Pineapple will cover its $30m pricetag and much of it’s marketing in theatrical. At 100m+, Tropic will be sweating international, hoping against hope to do What Stays In Vegas numbers overseas.
Speaking of Fox, another exciting non-centenian, unripe opening for Fox… but even P-Goldy must admit that $10m+ for Mirrors is a positive surprise.
As is a good start for Vicki Cristina Barcelona on just 693 screens.
All of Klady’s estimates are on the front page…


Klady's Sunday Estimates



Klady's Friday Estimates – B4

As a remarkable run continues, The Dark Knight may go 4 in a row… a feat so remarkable it hasn’t happened since earlier this year. Sorry… along with ticket sale obsession, this is a stupid stat and part of why there is hype backlash on this movie, which is not backlash against the movie. Add to that the breathless, hyperactive, and inaccurate – inaccuracies that would be forgivable if they weren’t so emphatic and so lacking in perspective – and you have a very impressive mountain turned into a media molehill. Really.
Meanwhile, Pineapple Express is on track to gross right along with Superbad – a 5-day opening vs a 3-day, but they will do about the same in their first five days with Pineapple doing much less 3-vs-3 – and Knocked Up, for that matter, though Knocked had the longer legs, most likely because of its release date. In these last 4 Apatow Years, really only Walk Hard has been anything but a success. And it’s likely no coincidence that it is the only film outside of Apatow’s self-defined genre.
A $5 million increase in the first 3 days of the Pants (non-Joey) franchise is good… what it really means, we won’t know for a while. The first film did about 3 times the 5-day opeinng with weekly holds that shifted in the breeze… but the numbers were small enough that it never seemed eventful. Perhaps an outdoor campaign featuring a blurry image of ABC’s starlet servicing CW’s starlet and the tag, “OMFG… It’s their first girl-girl experimentation,” would have helped the franchise break out (non-acne).
Looking at the chart, it really strikes me how badly Disney blew the Swing Vote opportunity. An entertaining turn for adults is so missing from the marketplace… they had it… they blew it with a big-head one-sheet.
Mamma Mia! hits $100m today…. sixth musical ever and fourth in the last seven years. MM! gets there a week before Hairspray and is stronger on the crossing weekend by more than 50%. MM! may pass Dreamgirls tomorrow and will settle into being the #3 all-time musical sometime in mid-September.


Weekend Estimates by Klady – B3

Trying to deconstruct Batman numbers is hard because estimates of Friday and Saturday and Sunday are all over the place. Klady’s Friday estimate and his weekend estimate are higher than some others. But the Saturday rise in some estimates are oddly large and the Sunday drop too steep. Klady’s number is less than a million from the biggest third weekend in history… are we being set up for a “final” that goes up by that million… another record taken?
Don’t know. And it doesn’t really matter.
Universal’s less on The Mummy 3 is probably that they shoudln’t ave shown it to anyone… ever…. or at least before release. Critics, in the one way we can matter, were nearly unanimous. The movie opened well on Friday anyway. But a Saturday drop suggests that the movie missed an especially strong showing in a core constituency; families. (Edit, 2:45p – into English)
Call it The Speed Racer Effect – little kids really, really, really want to see a movie but their parents decide that they would really rather not spend the time and go see something else. And that something else may have been The Dark Knight.
And how about this theory, which is thrown around often about movies that open soft… did geeks who are all abuzz with the TDK excitement buy a ticket for Dark Knight and go see The Mummy instead?
I actually don’t think so. But I also think it’s a kind of funny idea.
The strongest wide-release holds were Mamma Mia!, Wall-E, Journey to The Center of The Earth… two for the kids, one for the cultists.
Indiana Jones IV fell behnd Iron Man, both in weekend gross and in theater count for the first time since release, pretty much assuring Indy staying just behind Iron Man in summer gross. Ironically, it is in Paramount’s best interest to push Indy, since it gets a higher percentage of the gross. It also doesn’t have a campaign for the DVD release already going full steam ahead. But what better way to give the finger to Steven Spielberg… the only control Par has left after making their overly generous deal so many years ago?


Friday Estimates by Klady – 8/2/8

Mummy is almost exactly where it was expected to be. The question will be, is it a family movie or a teen movie… meaning, does it dip on Saturday or jump on Saturday or something in between. We’ll know tomorrow. It’s been a while since Wall-E offered real family fare, so the Mummy franchise might get the best of parents whose younger kids are bugging parents to see TDK or who are wanting to see something/anything new.
Speaking of The Bat, the drop is, amazingly enough, exactly what the studio was predicting. Hmmm… 45% for the third weekend is still quite good coming off those huge numbers.Last weekend’s Bat-trajector was a little better than three times Friday, so $40m is probably the number for the weekend. It’s hard to imagine Mummy dropping hard enough to keep it under $40m, but if the little kids aren’t going, who knows?
Swing Vote‘s marketing was completely bollixed up by Disney. The outdoor was hideous, not giving anyone any info about the movie other than that Costner was the star. The ad campaign was not innovative and took little advantage of the political season of which we are in the midst. Just all very murky. Costner did himself no favors by hiring a novice director who really didn’t know how to milk a script that was a great idea – albeit stolen from an old John Barrymore movie – but needed a spark in the making. But that shouldn’t have mattered on opening weekend anyway. Costner, who insists on control, did greenlight this movie himself, with his own money… which he more than got back from Disney with the distribution deal, which was made just after the start of production. And because the movie was so studio-inexpensive, they will get their money out after theatrical. And for the same reason – an epidemic problem for people who finance movies and then do deals with studios for distribution – Disney probably decided around May or June not to sink real marketing effort into the movie having decided it was not going to be a nine-figure hit. Small DVD Recoverable Budget + Likely Moderate Success = Moderate Return = Why Make The Effort? And so it goes.
Looking at the season


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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