Box Office Archive for May, 2010

Weekend Estimates by 4-Day Klady

Even being generous to Sex & The City 2, comparing the end of the first Monday last time to the end of today (by estimate… which doesn’t include a 5th day), the franchise is off 18% from the last time. Being less generous, 5 days vs 5 days, it’s off 25%.
Once again, Hollywood helps prove that women are smarter than Hollywood sometimes thinks.
So they are probably looking at $120m or so domestic… if they get that far. It could be a steeper drop this time, as the quality of the film seems less likely to draw girls-night-out crowds the second weekend this time… and it wasn’t like the multiple was sensational the first time out.
But again… as will so many pictures… the real money for this film – they hope – will be foreign. You want to know the real reason they women were on camels? The first film did 2/3rds of its theatrical business overseas. Of course, it may well be that the world enjoys looking at the hedonistic pursuit of New York ideals of money and power and not just the next wave of parachute pants. We’ll see.
Sadly, $250 million worldwide, for a TV show converted for the second time with no directorial skills whatsoever to the big screen, is still just barely a breakeven proposition… no cash cow here. The budget for the first film was wildly inflated, but with $415 million in theatrical, the Shaye/Lynne New Line and after-the-fact distributor Warner Bros cleared budget and P&A before they ran out of theatrical rentals. This time, with the budget even more hyper-inflated – because the success of this show has always been about spending money, not characters, right? (huh?) – and domestic down, they will be waiting on foreign with the passion usually held for waiting on Friday numbers here… and then, they will be reliant on post-theatrical sales, TV and DVD, to make money or just to get out without red ink.
What’s intriguing is that SJP & Co can make a third movie… for $40 million… which is about what it should cost, max, and make a boatload of money, unless this film actually kills the franchise. But even if it does damage it severely… for a $40m budget… It would be hard for them not to do enough business to make it work. So unlike most problem sequels, the ball is still in the franchise’s court… they just need to deal with reality if they want to continue. And the cost of Vaseline going up.
Prince of Persia (I’ll skip the extended name, so as not to pretend that there will be a sequel) isn’t so lucky. Conceived as another big, PG-13 Bruckheimer ride movie, Jake Gyllenhaal ain’t Johnny Depp or Harrison Ford, the videogame with a strong narrative got in the way a lot more than a ride without one could have, and the wow factor was limited by effects we have all seen, not only before, but repeatedly. Worse none of this could be disguised in a trailer. And there was no single go-to-effect that made it a must-go movie.
As a result, PoP couldn’t muster Robin Hood business, much less the opening for the first The Mummy. It even did a third less at opening than the decade old Tomb Raider, which did have Ms Jolie as a valuable special effect. Her pecs way outdid Jake’s.
Shrek Forever After did about what it was supposed to do in a second weekend. No new story here, really. Winning the weekend indicates nothing but the weakness of the two new entries and the solid base for the Shrek franchise.
And there is a real chance that Shrek The Last wins again next weekend with a mid-20s number, the biggest threats of the weekend not being the presumed bigger movies (Greek and Killers), but the strong niche plays, Marmaduke (though I haven’t felt that they have found the strong marketing hook… aside from Owen Wilson and dogs) and Splice, which is not likely to be leggy, but could rise up and shock with a $30 million opening (or better) a la Species ($17m opening in 1995), which is what the campaign looks like to me, shy a lanky, sexy blond.
Iron Man 2 should hit $300 million in the next 10 days or so. It gets the benefit of First Summer Weekend and we’ll see if either or both Toy Story 3 or Twilight 3 can deliver $300 million domestic.


Friday Estimates by Sex & The Klady

Sex & The Sequel is almost exactly where it was the first time around after Friday ended. This time took a full day on Thursday and midnight screenings Wednesday to do it. On the other hand, this time, their ebd of May opening is the holiday weekend and by the end of the weekend, the sequel should be up on the first film by about $10 million.
I am put in mind of Hellboy and Hellboy 2. As much as the core loved the first Hellboy and the audience was expanded by home viewing, the much bigger sequel grew marginally. The audience is the audience is the audience. In one case, both movies are apparently horrid (I can only couch for the first) and the other, both are very good. But both speak to a specific group with specific interests that reach beyond reviews and hype.
Still, it reminds us that there is a $150 million niche for women over 30 – and I would have to say, I’m pretty sure that women under 30 just look at the now-retro crew of S&TC and laugh, laugh, laugh… but not in a good way. They may not laugh so hard in a decade or so when they succumb to desperate hanging on, but as a 45-year-old man, I don’t find older actors wanting to make themselves look younger by standing next to younger women so funny anymore either. (I do still find it a bit pathetic.)
Prince of Persia doesn’t have Thursday to lean on… which should put the movie near $20 million behind Sext-ew by the end of its first holiday weekend. There really is no precedent for this number. It’s neither big nor small. You have to go all the way back to The Flintstones in 1994 to find a 4-day Memorial Day opening that is close to the projected number… and $37m back then was a lot more than it is now.
Thing is, even Terminator Salvation, which opened to $52m last Memorial Day, stopped at $125m domestic. It doubled that internationally, Mummy 3 – a truly horrible film – tripled their domestic overseas. Disney is going to have to do something like that to not lose money on this movie. (See: Old theory about loading the quarter with Alice DVD revenue.)
Shrek Forever After is running a little over $60 million behind S3 after 10 days and it looks like it’s going to get worse, not better. Should be around $140m by the end of the holiday. Madagascar doubled its gross from the end of its second weekend to the end… but it didn’t face a Pixar film landing about a month in (or at all, for that matter).
Iron Man 2 continues to ourpace the first film by about as much as the difference between the two opening weekends, though IM2 is starting to slide, day-by-day. Paramount will have to push hard to get it to $300m in a crowded June. Meanwhile, foreign remains ahead of the first film and the domestic gross, so you can count on IM2’s worldwide being bigger than the last one… though not by as much as anyone hoped for.


Ticket Prices

I don’t get all these stories about rising ticket prices.
Somewhere in all of them, the actual facts are there. But there is an odd obsession with pushing this story about massive increases in the average price.
There is a massive increase in the additional price for 3D… and an even more massive increase when an IMAX premium is paid in addition.
But a few simple facts.
Going into May, all four of the top grossing films in 2010 were in 3D (Avatar, Alice In Wonderland, How To Train Your Dragon, Clash of the Titans). Over $1.2 billion grossed domestically in 2010 between the four of them… or about 1/3 of every theatrical dollar grossed in this country through the first four months of the year.
Again… rough numbers… but say those films had, with IMAX counted, a 25% bump, divided by being a third of the total tickets sold, equal a little over 8%… or about what NATO said was the rise in ticket prices from the year before.
But the flip side of that is that there was probably zero rise in base ticket prices. That is, until this month, when most chains tend to raise their prices by 25 cents, summer in and summer out.
The problem I have with all this noise about it is that it feeds into misconceptions about the future of theatrical… again.
There are 5 or 6 movies coming out in 3D the rest of this summer. Toy Story 3 is clearly The Big One. We’ll see houw The Last Airbender – a late, cheap conversion – plays. I can’t imagine any more than $300m combined domestic in the rest.
In other words, if these films represent $1 billion domestic in a $4 billion summer, average ticket prices should actually go DOWN this summer, even with an actually small price increase in the base price of all films.
Will the hysterics report on that?
Or will they be forced to and then spin it into some kind of negative with a convenient stat like “tickets sold” going down?”
We’ll see.
What I am feeling inside the industry is a well-founded fear that the 3D business is overreaching already and that increasing ticket prices for often unnecessary 3D will soon turn off average moviegoers. This is balanced by a group that wants to change the whole system and hopes to use the misunderstanding of the facts in stories like this “rising ticket prices” thing to push their agenda forward.
Interesting times.


The Stupidity Of The 30 Day Studio Window

The Wall Street Journal broke a story that Time-Warner Cable was making a pitch to studios for a 30-day VOD window for a $20 – $30 price point.
It’s moronic.
But it’s also interesting.
It’s another iteration of the ongoing interest in figuring out whether VOD will ever really work… because it still doesn’t on a studio level. It never really worked at 24 weeks… it doesn’t really work at 16 weeks… so “let’s try it at 4 weeks at a premium (though non-“fight”) price.”
WSj notes the DVD downturn as a motive for all this window-bashing… and I don’t know if the authors know how right they are. Studios, it is seeming more and more, are looking for The Next DVD… and they are willing to be reckless to try to create it when it cannot be created.
The sad part of this idea – the 28 day window – is that it is wrong in almost every way. Besides cannibalizing theatrical, which is now more important than it has been in a decade, it seems to completely misunderstand the market. In the arthouse world, things are quite different… anything to find a wider paying audience is worth the risk. But for studio movies, I have never seen a study of any kind or any historic fact that suggests that the audience that wants to see wide release movies will be motivated to pay a premium for home viewing after 30 days of not going to the movie theater… and we are talking about pricing that is roughly the cost of two movie tickets.
The one category of films that might work in this 30 day idea is blockbusters that have a lot of buzz after 30 days and may have an audience of impulse buyers.
But again… big problem. The vast majority of impulse buyers of movies are… under 25s. But they don’t control their own purse strings, as a rule. The first time the cable bill arrives with an extra $50 charge on it for a single viewing of MacGruber and Iron Man 2 is the last time Billy gets to buy VOD in all but a tiny percentage of households where money is loose.
The value proposition for high priced PPV is diminished dramatically by a 30 day window. If you are going to jeopardize the theatrical window, you might as well just take the leap to day-n-date and see how it works with non-franchise movies. My take is that after a honeymoon of a few months – people love to kick tires – it starts being a clear loser. But let’s find out.
The slippery slope here is that you start the experiment with the $20 – $30 idea. It has mixed negative response. So the logical next step is adjusting the price. But as the price drops, the cannibalization starts to grow.
What journalists who write about this subject tend to miss is that the “old-fashioned” idea of windows in the marketplace is not actually what I think anyone in the industry thinks is the future. Right now and for years now, there are five or six windows. In the future, there will only be one real window… between theatrical and post-theatrical.


Weekend Estimates by MacKlady

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Shrek Forever After (or is it Shrek: The Final Chapter?) is in a very odd position. It’s the fourth best opening weekend in animation history… but somehow, because the last two opened so huge, that is a perceived failure. It will certainly gross over $220 million domestically and is more likely to end up in the $250m range, making it the fourth Shrek film in the Top 10 all-time of animated films… but anything short of $300m will be seen as a failure.
Part of this is the insanely high bar created by the first three films. And part of it may well be that DreamWorks Animation has built itself up to being a consistent $200m domestic performer and this Shrek will not, like the last two did, blow that normal number out of the water. Remember, Shrek 2 is still the #3 domestic grosser in history.
In any case, when the film being written off by so many critics as happily the last in the series is a Top Ten performer in its genre and still outperforms every other animated film its very successful company has made outside of that franchise, it’s easy to undervalue what should be qualified as a success. (And for the record, unlike other summer movies that gross strong numbers, but which I then question the fiscal validity of, animation is reasonably budgeted vs $200m-plus domestic grosses. Success is an issue of degree and expectation, not the potential of red ink.)
Of course, the biggest question for this film, delayed by the World Cup, is international box office. Will it be $200 million… $300 million… $400 million? That’s where the profit margin will be determined.
Iron Man 2 is looking like it will match the first film domestically. But in the weeks to come, things will get interesting vs Prince of Persia and then, I think, The Karate Kid, which could grab every eyeball that is still interested in repeat viewings of IM2.
Amazingly, Robin Hood could end up finding a way to $100m domestic. It might even find a way to $300m worldwide, which would make it Ridley Scott’s 3rd highest grossing film… though $260 is more assured. Still, if you believe the cost estimates out there, it’s still not enough to get this film to profit.
MacGruber is an interesting Rotten Tomatoes story. 54% seems awfully high, considering how much traditional critics seem to hate it. Only 3 critics from what could be considered major outlets were positive in their reviews. One was Joe Leydon for Variety, who saw the film in the midst of SXSW hysteria. Does being in a room that LOVES the movie help a critic think the better of it? (I’m sure Joe will soon offer an opinion.) Robert Abele, freelancing for the LA Times, liked it enough for a fresh tomato. And Peter Travers, aka The Great Laydown, gave it quotes… no surprise there… if they advertised world wars, he’d find a way to praise Hitler with an exclamation point.
But my point isn’t to kick the couple of mainstream outlets that praised MacGruber. I haven’t even seen the film. I will look forward to seeing it on Starz next year. But what’s fascinating is that RT, which is used like it’s the NYT of film criticism by far too many people, is showing its ass here. It’s not like the film is “Fresh.” But even 54% “Fresh” is misleading here. It’s 80% “Fresh” for people who saw it at SXSW and about 20% “Fresh” for people who did not. By not showing the film until the last hours before release, aside from SXSW, the distributor kept the “Top Critics” (read: Traditional Media) group down to 12 reviews (25% fresh… based on the 3 reviews I already mentioned) from the normal 25 or so. And the overall group of people included in the rating, normally over 200 for a wide release, is down to an ironic 69.
In other words, Universal made RT their bee-otch on this one. I am guessing that the Tomato Ranking will fall under 40% in the next week or so… maybe lower, as more reviews come in.
Either way, Ryan Kavanaugh loses money on this one and Universal just wasted their time. MacGruber would have been a great day-n-date VOD title at a $10 price point. A very niche piece that might just be of enough interest to that core group to generate strong numbers… at a price… in a very short window.
After all the hullabaloo about Babies not opening the way people thought it would, it’s now over $5 million and is one of the biggest documentary grossers in the last couple of years. Only Michael Moore, Disney’s Earth, and the self-distributed right-wing cult project, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, have grossed more in the last two years. That would be a success, folks.


Friday Estimates by Leonard Shrek-y

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Shrek Forever After just didn’t get ticket buyers as excited as DWA and Paramount would have liked. Personally, I blame the confusing ad campaign that didn’t really address what the story of the movie is… “What The Shrek Just Happened?” means nothing if you don’t know that Rumpelstiltskin has managed to send Shrek back to the beginning of his journey.
These numbers would be good for most other animated films. 60% better an opening day than, say, How To Train Your Dragon. But a bit soft for Shrek. Pretty likely, the opening weekend ends up in the mid-70s to mid-80s. But there were those calling for 100m+, which ain’t happening.
Iron Man 2 is still runing $25m ahead of the first film… but is slowing faster. This Friday estimate is about $1m off of the first film’s third Friday. We’ll see how it plays out over the 3-day. In the meanwhile, foreign is still the main story here, with IM2 passing the first film’s total international gross sometime today. Disney and Marvel will have to determine whether they are getting into dangerous territory here, as the international market is often a movie behind domestic in terms of giving up on a weakening franchise. IM2 should be at least $100 million bigger, worldwide, than IM. But next time, that may signal a smaller gross for the third film… or not.
Letters To Juliet is now past Remember Me and will break the $30m Summit glass ceiling… establishing the $40m glass ceiling… about half of Dear John… but an improvement for the company.
MacGruber opened to about 25% less than Hot Rod. Look for a $4 million weekend and a $10 million total domestic gross. What does it mean? Only that even the geeks didn’t really turn out for this one in force. I guess they are waiting on Get Him To The Greek for top geekomdy.
Just goes to show that Relativity can even lose money on a $10 million one-off with a strong SXSW geek kingdom push. Skillz. (Universal, btw, suffers only the embarrassment of association and wasted marketing team time on this one.)


Weekend Estimates by Klady (Actuals Will Look Different In Rear View Mirror)

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A remarkable 43.7% jump from Friday to Saturday in the second weekend… without a holiday Monday in support. Wow. Very impressive. And it was when iron Man did it two years ago. So imagine my surprise when Iron Man 2 jumped 48.7% from this Friday to Saturday, according to the studio.
After a brief study of the last decade of Mays, the other films I can find that can match this feat are Spider-Man and Star Trek… neither one of which had nearly the Friday-to-Friday drop of IM2.
I guess all I am saying is, look for the “actual” to be closer to or under $50 million.


Friday Estimates by Klady Man 2

As obnoxious as it is that Universal’s boss man is still trying to blame Marc Shmuger for all and any of his company’s iffy choices and overfed budgets as though American Gangster and State of Play hadn’t gone down nearly the same exact road and Ron Meyer let this get greenlit anyway (thanks, Nikki, for always being there to tell us what your keepers want us to believe), Robin Hood is not going to be a disaster… not on the Wolfman level, not on the Green Zone level, not on the State of Play level… not even on the It’s Complicated level. (Yes, of course I know that a movie that is primarily shot on a stage with a week’s location shooting in New York and another in Santa Barbara should cost $100 million-plus. Way to take a cash cow and turn it into a marginally profitable film.)
Klady’s estimate of Friday is a whopping $1.7 million off of the studio estimate being pushed out by their Brentwood flack. Expect the weekend final to be more mid-30s than 40. That said, there is still a real chance of this ending up being a $300 million-plus worldwide movie, which would get it – once all the other streams come in – a near breakeven proposition and maybe even slightly profitable for Universal, given that they get their distribution fee off the top and sucked in Ryan “How Much Can He Lose Before The Well Dries Up?” Kavanaugh to eat the losses.
It’s almost sad, but mostly it’s funny. There is one movie that went out looking for outside money late… and had Kavanaugh gotten on that train, no one would have been talking about his losses for a long time. That movie was Avatar. It’s almost like Fox knew – though if they really knew, they wouldn’t have brought in anyone else’s money – and said, “Let’s get some new fish on the hook… after this win, they won’t stop paying for junk until they have lost every dime and mortgaged their future hoping for another one like it!”
But I digress…
In the end, Robin Hood‘s P&L sheet will look a lot like Public Enemies… a very high profile narrow escape.
Iron Man 2 is off 65%, which isn’t bad. That should level off to the high 50s and a second weekend in the mid-40s will have it over $200 million in 10 days and just over $300 million in total domestically, probably short of the first film. But thanks to international markets, where sequels can be explosive even if the movies aren’t as strong at home, I still foresee IM2 in the $700 million worldwide range of the first Transformers, enjoying a similar uptick (about $125m in gross) at the worldwide box office from 1 to 2.
If I were Disney – and God knows, lately, I am definitively not – I would insist on an Iron Man 3 before taking a chance with The Avengers. Let Favreau do it… not do it… whatever. But have a meeting and agree that the IM3 budget will be $150 million with more back end. Limited P&A too… heavy emphasis on partners. And then, just squeeze that payday out of the thing before the reboot with all parties aware that they are simply playing for the easy cash. Use Downey on Avengers in 2014. Or cancel Avengers when Thor stiffs. Avengers could work or it could be Batman & Robin Redux. But let’s not pretend that there is anywhere to go with the franchise they have – other than down – and go steal some candy from some children. They know they wanna.
Letters To Juliet is Summit’s fourth widest release in company history… and will be the company’s #4 opener of all time. Dear John, which opened to at least twice as much as this one will, did 2.7x opening, so projecting that onto this one, look for a maximum $35 million domestic gross (also at #4 for Summit). The hope for this film is that it will be bigger overseas, with Vanessa Redgrave and the little-mentioned-in-the-US Franco Nero doing their best geriatric Brangelina. But Summit only has domestic.
Somehow Fox managed to even miss the Black money in the Queen Latifah franchise with Just Wright. I mean, they weren’t selling it to me. They weren’t selling it to the people who went to go see blonde-haired-blue-eyed Amanda. But even Beauty Shop and Last Holiday opened to $12 million each. This opening is by far the biggest misfire of the weekend, even if there is a lot less at risk.


Box Office Hell in the Iron Hood

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Meaningless Stat Of The Day

Iron Man 2‘s “actual” is $128.1m.
About a 4% variation from the studio estimate on Sunday morning.
Not enough for competing studios to complain about. A little less thrilling for Disney and Paramount… but still the same kind of okay-against-expectations start.


Weekend Box Office by Klady (IM2, Not To Be Confused With I:M2)

$230 million.
$533 million.
This is the range of domestic grosses for films that have opened with 3-days of over $100 million. (Iron Man 2 is the 15th such opening.)
On the low end of the scale of the highest releases, the low domestic total is just under $300 million. That also happened ot be the most recent $100m launch… last November… Twilight: New Moon.
We have very little history to work with here. No movie opened to more than $115m until 2006. It happened twice in 2007, once in 2008 and 2009, and now, already, twice in 2010.
There was, by estimate, a 36% uptick in the opening weekend for Iron Man 2 from the first film. But the real question is… will this be a Twilight 2 (project to $278m) or a Trannys 2 (project to $495m)? Or somewhere in between? I’ll make the third – and easy – guess. But I would also lean more towards Team Abs than toward Team Bay.
Surprise that the first film was, it had a multiple of 3.2x with overwhelmingly positive Word of Mouth


Friday Estimates by Klady (aka Cash Machine)

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So we’re looking at, what, $130m for the weekend?
Hardly sucks. Not breathtaking. Probably a little disappointing for Disney and Paramount, actually… but not very.
If this holds, look for the domestic number to be almost identical to the first film… maybe $10 million higher. And look for about $50m more internationally than the last time. About $650m worldwide. And look for that to be lost – in comparison from the first one – off of the post-theatricals.
The one big advantage the movie has is that there are no films close to the specific genre for two weeks, until P of P. This could well spare the film a more massive drop next week, where it will surely win the weekend again with no less than $60 million.
I actually think they spent a little less on this film than on the first, so the net might be up a little. Paramount comes out fine. And Disney starts getting itchy.
Dragon will hit $200 million this weekend. But I am fascinated that anyone would consider – with an even higher percentage of gross 3D bump than Avatar – these number to be a breakthrough of some kind. The movie is clearly well liked… nice holds… but not a single game-changing thing about the film for DreamWorks Animation. If someone wishes to disagree, great… please explain why.


Box Office Hell – Iron In The Fire

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Weekend Estimates by Klady – Nachtmare Redux

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Nightmare’s do-over is by far the biggest opener of the series and will be the biggest grosser of the series before next weekend ends. It’s not Iron Man… but it doesn’t have to be. It’s a piece of business. And if WB was really smart, it’s a piece of business that would have been done by Shaye/Lynne’s New Line, which would have spent even less on marketing than the big WB machine (which is big by its nature, not by any fault).
Dragon has been a big overdramatized as a phenom. It’s a success. And it is showing legs in an era of few leggy movies, by studio distribution design. The only real story to me is that DreamWorks Animation has gone from being a $150m domestic per-title company to a $200m domestic per-title company. The difference, by the way, between Dragon and MvA versus Panda is that Panda doubled its domestic overseas an Dragon, like MvA, seems on track to simply match domestic. The 1-to-1 has also been true of the Shrek series.
Pixar’s top 4 worldwide grossers are all over 58% foreign. Cars made up for being relatively weak overseas with merchandising. But the ability to play overseas is going to be a big issue for DWA moving forward. Ironically, the Disney non-Pixar films ARE playing better overseas than at home… pretty similar foreign numbers to a lot of the DWA films… but aren’t strong enough at home to match the number, or one might think, to grow the foreign number even bigger, as US success still plays a role in setting a “blockbuster coming” perspective in many overseas markets.
Furry Vengeance puts even more pressure on Amanda Seyfried’s first “big head” marketed movie, also for Summit, Letters To Juliet. Furry may become Summit’s sixth-ever $20m domestic grosser (and domestic is more relevant to Summit, as so many of their pictures are owned by others overseas), but these are the movies that need to be doing over $40 million on a consistent basis for Summit to be more than The Twilight Studio.
Honestly, the big move here would be to merge with Lionsgate, which could absorb the cash that Twilight is bringing in and secure the future for the Summit team. The downside is that there would be too many chefs… which would probably force Lionsgate to dump Joe Drake… which would in turn, calm Carl Icahn down. Both companies have what you would have to call “good problems.” But neither has shown that it can get out of the way of the success they have in order to deal with the less successful parts of the company. A merger would likely bring the Lionsgate stock price up – aside from Icahn inflation – to a legitimate $8 or $9 or even $10. And Twilight is still juicy enough draw Wall Street suckers. Rob Friedman and his partners could cash out… and probably end up with the Summit brand reverting to them after Lionsgate sold. Just a thought…
Another interesting box office note… almost identical per-screen numbers for Harry Brown and Exit Through The Gift Shop. The first is a more conventional movie and did some TV advertising. The second is a niche doc that did little more than social network marketing. What does that tell you about how to make money in arthouse?
Meanwhile SPC did solid numbers for their foreign language Oscar winner, The Secret In Their Eyes and the opening of Please Give, which brings the Nicole Holofcener audience into the theaters on the coasts for sure.
Four very different stories… and that, I think, is the future of distribution in that arena. No “answer.” Just a lot of decisions and a lot of hard work, really thinking through every movie every time. I know that people want The Answer. But the money is still out there… it’s just that the funnel into the pocket of the filmmaker and the distributor is not as formulaic as it has been and as makes people comfy.


Friday Estimates by Freddy

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Not much to say. Freddy did about what a horror remake should… not more… not less.
And Furry Vengence, which should recover to gross around $8m, will be another film in line with Summit’s non-Twilight history. They just can’t get it to roll. As I have written before, it’s really hard to be a new company with one massive brand. You make money on that franchise, but it often becomes the handful of gold like in an old cartoon… you can’t get your hand out of the trap unless you let go of the gold. Toughie.


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