Box Office Archive for July, 2010

Weekend Estimates by Klady – Incept2

The only comparable non-animated summer hold to Inception‘s second weekend – even if the studio percentage ends up being 2 or 4 or4 percent off – is The Hangover. (Hangover had a better hold, but off a smaller opening… which balances out.) Clearly, a lot of people were convinced that if they wanted to go see a summer blockbuster this weekend, seeing the new Angelina was not as important to them as seeing Nolan’s much talked about film.
I still think there has been a pretty strong overstatement in the press about how this film is doing. And that is, no doubt, self-fulfilling. It doesn’t hurt that, like Avatar, Titanic, and others, there is not much else in the marketplace that can be recommended by word of mouth. There is, no doubt, a you-have-to-see-it-and-decide-for-yourself element.
Regardless, a very strong hold, a very good movie, and a happy story for people who want something out of the summer that isn’t completely brain dead entertainment.
Meanwhile, Jolie’s Salt opening was well off of her Wanted opening… and that was the target for Sony to hit, no? Still, a solid opening.
Perspective counts, of course. Salt is a much cheaper movie than Robin Hood and Sony is not in flux. Yet, when Robin Hood did the same number… and what is likely to be a significantly bigger number worldwide… the word “bomb” was being thrown around. In the end, the bottom lines on these two movies will look pretty similar, unless Salt ends up being unusually leggy.
Just sayin’…
Sony is definitely seeing dividends by having the only real non-animated comedy in the marketplace since it opened, Grown Ups. Dinner For Schmucks has a real opportunity on that score and it will be interesting to see how that film affects Sandler’s. It seems like every year that the summer isn’t overloaded with comedies, the studios forget to do very many at all… and then you get a pile-up like Schmucks and The Other Guys opening back-to-back. With Get Him To The Greek, that makes only 4 straight comedies all summer long… and all four are from franchisers Sandler, Farrell, or Apatow. (Carrell has his feet in both Farrell and Apatow worlds… though perhaps Schmucks lands under Roach’s jurisdiction.)
Focus has an interesting road ahead with The Kids Are All Right. The biggest grosser not to hit 1000 screens in the US this year is Summit’s The Ghost Writer, which had its only $2m weekend with 819 screens. Kids outdid their high this weekend on just 201 screens. The trick to get to and surpass Ghost’s domestic total of $15.5m is getting another big jump out of Kids when it does leap to 800 screens next weekend. A $5 million weekend next weekend and you’re looking at (500) Days of Summer numbers, or better. If the film plateaus on expansion, say $3.5 million, and you start thinking maybe the low 20s. If it stays at $2.6m or drops, the audience has been well mined and high teens starts to look good. This is a film, regardless of your politics or personal feelings about the film, which should be rooted for every bit as much as Inception, in terms of it being a personal piece that is being given a real shot by Focus based on great performances and a respect for adult audiences.


Friday Estimates By Salt-Free Klady

Inception will win the weekend… but only because Salt is looking soft. Inception will have the 5th best second weekend of the year and pretty much in range with 2 or 3 other titles. In other words, completely admirable and solid, but nothing to write headlines about. And I don’t expect much of a % jump over the weekend, which would normally reflect a bigger drop on Friday because it’s opening day, because of the Midnight screenings last Thursday.
$240m or so domestic is nothing but excellent, but it can be overstated. And now, it’s probably time to start thinking about the sequel, which could take the premise, make a less heady piece, and double the box office.
Back to the Salt mine… I think Sony got nervous when it looked at the tracking and decided to stop selling story and just sell Jolie running and shooting. Perhaps that is all they had to go with at that point. And if they were finding that the campaign wasn’t locking in, they had to go somewhere.
Perhaps the problem was that Ms. Jolie was being a bit precious about her availability. One 30 second killer clip and a few slots on TV might have flipped the switch. But instead of being at The View, Angie was at ComicCon on Thursday, pushing the one crowd already in pocket. Hmmm….
Ramona and Beezus… really? Did Fox mean for this film to leak out onto 2719 screens. Because it feels like it escaped, as opposed to being released. No doubt, I have not watched my share of Nickelodeon or Disney Channel this week. But what looks to be a sweet film, pretty much heading for the same niche as WB’s Flipped. due in 2 weeks, had less general presence on opening weekend than the Reiner film, two weeks out.
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice only gets scarier for Disney. It now looks like it won’t get to The Last Song‘s domestic gross. The only real option now – a cheap one – is to release 2 or the lengthy clips (the 6 minute variety) to try to get people surprised by what they missed. They’re past “giving it away.” So… throw it out there… nothing to lose now… and if they can get a parent or two amused, they could get to $70 million.
$380m domestic looms for Toy Story 3, the $400m mark assured over the course of the summer. It’s finally opening weekend in the UK, followed by France next weekend and Germany the weekend after. Those countries will likely push the film’s international gross over the $400 million mark as well, making it the 4th animated film in history to reach that mark That said, Shrek 2, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, and Finding Nemo‘s worldwide numbers, all over $268m, are likely beyond TS3’s grasp.
And with the 3D Bump… okay… yawn… we all get it…
Twilight: Eclipse is still slightly ahead of its predecessor, day-for-day, but is slowing faster. The concern now for Summit is that foreign may not match New Moon, which is unusual in successful sequels. Of course, every studio would love to grapple with that kind of problem. They get to make movies that are disliked by everyone except for the target audience, on a budget, which outgross Iron Man and its sequel worldwide. Unfortunately, the gravy train has only got two more stops before Summit has to go back to finding its first non-vamp $100m domestic grosser as a company.
Pretty strong opening day for the Orlando re-release. 140 people per theater took the time out to go see an 18-year-old arthouse classic that played, in its day, for eternity. Life During Wartime opened better, but that could just be 1000 people who still wear Dollhouse t-shirts and have been waiting on this release for a year already. Speaking of which… THAT would make a great revival about now. 15th anniversary next year… no new DVD in over a decade… Blu-ray launch… influential movie… I like this idea.


Weekend Estimate By Klady – Incepted

WB is pushing out an estimate on Inception that is probably a bit high. $60 million sounds like a nice round number. But even a bit lower than that, the opening is the fifth best start this summer. It’s strong, but it’s pretty much as expected.
It’s an interesting thing, how people position these openings. This is lower than any of the guesstimates by our “Box Office Hell” sites. But was that a function of reality or of the hype? Would ouitlets covering this as a big opening be slamming it as The Dreaded Disappointing if they didn’t see the movie as being of quality? Are these pronouncements ever well considered?
What we know is this… even with very good legs, a multiple of 3x, (though super-legs are always possible, albeit unlikely for any non-family film these days) Inception will not pay for its worldwide marketing costs with its domestic gross and will have to do significantly better overseas to over the cost of production.
I tend to celebrate a guy like Nolan using his leverage to get the studio to make a movie that was such a gamble. Others will give it all a pass because they love the film and will claim any direct comments on the finances of the film are just Haters being Haters. And some will, just be happy that a challenging film can do $400 million-plus worldwide, which is where I think its headed.
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice seems to have recovered a little on Saturday, but the movie still is not a pre-teen hit, really. Having not seen the film, I don’t really know what Disney had to work with. But it seems to me that they almost looked for a tweener in the film… and got the results a tweener gets.
Nice hold for Despicable Me. It now looks Like Twi3 is actually going to do a little better than Twi2, as opposed to worse. We’ll see how it all plays out, but 10% either way is still the call. Grownups is also holding well, now looking like it could be Sandler’s biggest hit in the last decade, with The Longest Yard‘s $158.1m not out of reach. Foreign and Sandler is always weak… so we’ll see there.
Predators dropped a shocking 73%. You don’t see that every week. And if you listen to Hot Blog commenters, the movie is worthy of decent genre buzz. It’s not a record drop, but for movies opening on over 2000 screens, it’s #7 all-time, if it holds.


Friday Inceptions by Klady

Solid, but not exceptional opening for Inception.
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice never found an answer to “what is this thing?” and paid the price. Yes, there is a generation of kids that is not familiar with Fantasia, but even their parents who might be and might love it had no real way of knowing what they were going to get in that theater. I have seen a lot of footage from TV spots and stuff, and I know that I am now guessing that it’s… you know… nothing clear enough to put into words. And if The Sorceress is important at all, I have to wonder where she has been in this campaign, because I have only seen Alfred Molina… and only in the last 10 days or so. That said, I have gotten closer to thinking it might be worth seeing in these last days, as we have seen more footage of Cage looking insane with that hair… but too little, too late.


The Road To Box Office Hell, Inception Style



Weekend Estimates by Dis-Klady-able He

Universal did what only Pixar, DreamWorks Animation, and Fox have done before… open an animated movie to $60 million. It is no small achievement. They did it by focusing on their target and using all those tools they have – especially with the NBC networks… though those tools, used in the wrong way or for the wrong property or both, guarantee nothing, as we have seen before – to make kids demand of those parents, “I want my minions!!!” As an adult, I found it all interesting, but I don’t really get it. But I was not the target.
If you wish to linger on the 3D Bump, this opening is about double the Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs launch, almost 4x Coraline, and if the estimate holds, a little more than Monsters vs Aliens. Only 3 of the 14 bigger animation openings were in 3D.
Regardless… a long way to go after opening weekend in the US. But the opening is an achievement for the Universal team.
The Sunday estimates on Twilight seem a bit high… not because of the World Cup, but because since last Monday’s holiday, Eclipse has been well off of New Moon every day. And If the Sunday estimate holds up, it will be a change of that trend. Look for this third film to fall back into line with New Moon next weekend. Nothing shocking there.
Predators did well. And word of mouth inside the niche seems pretty good. Even Rotten Tomatoes has it as “fresh.” So who knows? Could find its way to a shocking $100m… more likely around $80m domestic. As Fox prepares to go back to Alien as a stand-alone, this could well be a sequel-maker as well.
Toy Story 3‘s estimate pushes it past every animated film in domestic history, except for Shrek 2, which was, at the end of its run, the #2 domestic grosser in history, period. That target is about $100 million away… a long run. But a 26% drop in a weekend with a new $60 million-opening 3D animated film is another remarkable success for this film.
International for TS3 is a longer haul, as most of what are expected to be the biggest markets for this film are being held back because of the World Cup. But it still has over $200 million in that bank… and Nemo’s record of $529 million is far far away, nit not impossible.
$72,430 is a strong per-screen for The Kids Are All Right, though it’s always dangerous to project too much off of numbers like this, when the film has big commercial elements and a strong core of the interested in major metropolitan and gay communities. Keep watching that space.
The real “big stories” of the indie world right now are I Am Love and Winter’s Bone. Magnolia is around $1.5 million on Love, really based almost exclusively on interest in Tilda Swinton. Remarkable. And smart of SPC to relaunch Orlando into that. And Granik’s Bone is a buzz play for the art house interested. Jennifer Lawrence has gotten a lot of press. But it seems to be the art house film of the summer that people are being told by friends that they “have to see.”
Overall, small indie seems healthier than some think. City Island and The Secret in Their Eyes and clearly The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, though that feels like a franchise of some kind because of the book. We already have five $2 million documentaries after just four last year… all later in the year. The films’ grosses were bigger last year (including Michael Moore), but the diversity of interest of at least a few hundred thousand ticket buyers for five different docs is a good sign.
PS – There are a lot of unexpectedly small drops across the box office chart this weekend. Why? It’s even odder, given that last weekend’s 3-day had the benefit of a holiday Monday.
Well, for one thing, a Sunday July 4th slows down Sunday a bit. The other thing is, this is that summer lull when films have a little room to settle into niches. If you are willing to see an Sandler & Crew comedy, what else is there for you to see? Not a lot. Maybe Get Him To The Greek or The A-Team, but if you want goofy with a some smarmy, Grown Ups is where you are heading. Likewise, Knight & Day. Not a lot of other movies to satisfy that palate… though the film was, I still think, brutalized after it opened, lessening the ability to leg it out. And it certainly is working out for the indies, as noted above. If you aren’t a kid and aren’t interested in kid stuff, but you go to the movies weekly, you are probably heading to some arthouse titles that you may have skipped if there was something… anything… to see from the studios. (Inception is coming.)


Friday Estimates By Despicable Klady

A slightly better than Shrek Forever After start for Despicable Me. Huzzah. Not only is this the biggest animation opening ever for Universal… it will likely be the highest domestic grossing animated film ever at Universal by the end of this weekend.
Twilight: Eclipse is quickly falling back into like with Twilight: New Moon. The 6-day opening left the new film about $15m domestic ahead of the New Moon at the end of Monday. Since then, Eclipse has been behind Moon’s numbers each day, including a $6.6m fall-off, second Friday vs second Friday. Eclipse’s domestic total could slip behind New Moon, relative date for relative date, by Tuesday or Wednesday this week.
Still, about 2/3rds of New Moon’s domestic gross was earned by the end of its second weekend and much the same is likely to be true of Eclipse. Should land between $280m – $310m domestic. But the real question remains international, where the big markets start opening this weekend.
Predators is the #2 opening in the franchise history, behind only the first Alien vs Predator, which did offer double trouble. Doubtful that Fox expected more.
Mighty Mighty Toy Story 3 is probably the most underreported story of the summer… perhaps because it is a positive box office story… booooo positive box office stories! It passed Shrek The Third to become the #4 best animated grosser in domestic history yesterday… #3 The Lion King will fall today… Alice in Wonderland will be passed as the #1 domestic film of 2010 on Sunday… and all-time domestic animation’s #2, Finding Nemo, will be vanquished no later than Monday. There will still be $100 million or so to go to catch Shrek 2, which may be beyond the grasp of the film… but you never know.
This is one of those happy occasions when “good” meets “4 quadrant” and the result is spectacular.
Adam Sandler cracks $100 million domestic for the 11th time in 12 years today. And The Last Airbender could get to the 9-figure mark by the end of the weekend, causing Roger Ebert to become The First Twitterbender.
Cyrus expanded from 77 screens to 200 and looks to have its first million dollar weekend. This is the tipping point for most films in this kind of release pattern. It could cruise to $4m or $5m from here or they could try to make a big leap. Time (and Steve Gilula) will tell.


Box Office Hell – 10/9/10



Weekend Estimates by Yankee Doodle Canadian Klady

Klady is actually a little higher than studio estimates on Twilight: Eclipse. But either way, the difference between the launch of Twi2 and Twi3 is less than 2% different. Almost perfect. The next six days wull be interesting, for those of us who are interested in minutiae, as the day six of New Moon was Thanksgiving and the film presumably was benefited by the holiday weekend, while Eclipse has had its holiday already.
The Last Airbender, assisted by the 3D bump in spite of endless attacks on the film’s 3D, delivered the 14th best July 4 weekend ever and an estimated $69.8m over the 4 day holiday. Assuming 20% of the box office gross comes from the 3D premium, the $5m conversion investment grossed $14 million this weekend and returned more than $7m to the studio. Profitable choice. And with reviews this bad, could they really have been much better in 2D? The big question from here is whether this opening leads to $150m domestic or $200m domestic?
I took 51 days for previous Pixar front-runner Finding Nemo to do what Toy Story 3 has been estimated to do in 18. Obviously box office front-loading has increased in the years between the film, but it’s also 10 days faster to $300m than this year’s Alice in Wonderland. How big will TS3 end up being? No idea. But Pixar’s domestic record will probably fall before the end of next weekend and foreign is strong out of the gate, even with the film’s likely biggest international markets still to launch.
11 days in, Grown Ups is still looking a lot like Click… within $1.5 million in domestic gross. Sandler is often discounted, in part because he has very weak foreign, but domestically, he lives in the rarefied air of Will Smith. When making an “Adam Sandler movie,” he hasn’t missed $100m domestic in a decade and has had just one miss in his last 12 films, dating back to 1998, Little Nicky. Going off his traditional path has never delivered a big hit, but Punch Drunk Love, Spanglish, Reign Over Me, and Funny People were noble failures that really shouldn’t bring into question a truly exceptional box office history.
Nothing in ArthouseLand did sensational numbers this weekend, though Cyrus seems to have broken out with a chance in the mainstream and Winter’s Bone is already in Roadside Attraction’s all-time Top 5, heading further up the list.


An Ongoing Discussion Of Zeitchik "Axioms"

I was done with using facts to discount Steve Zeitchik’s grossly oversimplified idea of an “axiom” for sequels and third franchise films. But then I got a note from Steve… and he decided to make it public, but posting part of his retort to Twitter.
Twitter is good for clever retort, but not so much so for sharing facts. So… because he seems to want to do this… another entry…
His e-mail:
ha, you crack me up. unfortunately, the numbers support the point i was making. dating back to the late 90’s, there have been 17 major live-action franchises with sequels; with 14 of them the second film earned more than the first. in that same time there were 13 franchises with a third film; nine of them grossed less than the second film. sounds axiomatic to me.
My response:
Being this wrong really cracks you up?
I can only assume that you are not looking past domestic… even though every studio budgets movies and bases the choice of making sequels and tri-quels on foreign, where the majority of box office comes from.
6 of the 13 trilogies I’m counting had their biggest grosser with the third film. (Bourne, Rings, Spider-Man, Ice Age, X-Men, and Toy Story, which admittedly is still without international numbers)
Mummy’s difference between each of the three films is statistically insignificant… all three films are within $32 million worldwide. Harry Potter is irrelevant, as picking out #3 is just silly when the franchise went back up right after.
Pirates did go up and then down… but again, silly, as the third film went down less than 10% and was still more than 45% higher than the first film. Very much the same story for Shrek.
That leaves:
Star Wars 1-3, the first of which was the highest and the third of which was 2nd highest.
AND exactly two franchises that really fit your “axiom”… Mission: Impossible and The Matrix.
Gosh… now that you made me do more aggressive research, you are much more wrong than I thought.
As for the 2-film franchises – The 6 down second films I have are Narnia, Angels & Demons, Men In Black II, Night At The Museum, Sex & The City, and Oceans 12… so you’re already off.
In terms of your “axiom,” yes, Twilight, Transformers, Fockers, National Treasure, and The Chipmunks fit. But I just named six that don’t… so no axiom.
There are other titles that are complicated and don’t fit any axiom over the runs of their series. How are you dealing with Batman, Terminator, Fast & Furious, and Bond, each of which has at least 4 entires? How do you deal with slow-returning sequels for Indiana Jones, Die Hard, Jurassic, Superman, and Hannibal?
It’s hard to debate it in earnest, since what you are counting has criteria that are unclear to me.
My research now includes every film with at least one of the films grossing $350m worldwide in 1995 or later, the date set by your e-mail.
I would love to know where you came up with these numbers… because they are so neat, but so completely off-the-charts misleading. I did a quick look at the domestic numbers only and I am guessing this is where you pulled these stats out of your butt. But even then, there are completely misleading titles, like Spider-Man, which went down with both sequels domestically, but in which all three films had domestic numbers within $66 million on grosses from $336m and up. Or Alvin & The Chipmunks, whose two numbers were less than $2m apart.
Even in a cursory look at domestic only, I count six second films, with only two made, that went down (S&TC, Night At The Museum, Men in Black, Madagascar, Iron Man, Fantastic Four).
Please! Tell me what I am missing here?

I don’t know whether I will get another response. I am truly fascinated by his stats, because I can’t make them fit any model. But someone thinks they have numbers that make sense.
There is something a little scary for me about analyzing stats and finding someone else’s published numbers so wrong. I have to be missing something, right? But the numbers… they are the numbers.
Even Harry Potter, which I throw out for multiple reasons, doesn’t fit the #2 up, #3 down model, as #2 was down from #1, which remains the highest grosser of the series.
I have wasted an hour of my time on July 4 making extra sure that I was not giving Zeitchik a reason to crack up… at least in the laughing way. I worked through the actual numbers, not some weird stat that came from God knows where.
I guess we’ll all see if I hear back again. If I do, it will be added into this entry.


Twilight Games

I can’t blame Summit for playing some subtle games to try to keep the Twilight story where they want it going into next week.
As I have written before, it doesn’t really matter. My guess would be that this film, in spite of better notices, will do a little less than the last, perhaps as much as 10%. Still… spectacular.
So I had to laugh when I saw, after Eclipse failed to match New Moon’s 3-day or 5-day domestically – not very far off – they are now selling the idea that their worldwide open (which is 5 days, not 3, like New Moon) is $261.2m… up from $258.8m from last November’s mammoth launch.
Is the media this callow… that we need to be led by the nose to SUCCESS, when the success is obvious, even if there isn’t a new record every single time?
Twilight already made its Transformers leap… last November. I’m going to go out on a limb – not really – and predict that Eclipse and the last two films of the series will all gross between $650 million and $750 million worldwide (unless 3D adds a third to the number in future films). I don’t care how big or small they open, in how many theaters, how long girls wait on sidewalks, whether fake weddings take place, if a single person from the series ever opens any other movie… 50 to 60 million people are committed to see every one of these films. Some of them will see it multiple times. A few will stop bothering. A few will be dragged along.
So relax, Summit. You have a about a billion and a half in profits coming in over the next two years with your blue chip franchise. There is no question about that. The only real question is, how will you spend your bounty?


Friday Estimates By Fireworks Klady

“You gotta know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, know when to walk away, know when to run. You never count your money while you’re sittin’ at the table. There’ll be time enough for counting when the dealing’s done.”
We all realize, don’t we, that Summit doesn’t count the money for Twilight: Eclipse against what the last one took in on each day… right?
When, at the end of the first weekend, Eclipse is at more than $150 million, Summit will not be crying about not doing $165m in 5 days like the last one. And when they don’t get to $178m in 6 days, not a tear. They will be thanking the lord that they got away with it again, that they decided to accelerate the series, and wondering whether they can actually get the next film, the first of a two-parter, into theaters next summer – instead of Thanksgiving – and to push the finale’ into the Thanksgiving ’11 slot.
Now that the bar has been raised so high – too high – for the film’s box office, it will be interesting to see if the media shows its teeth at the end of the weekend. Of course, it’s possible that the film will push hard and get to the bigger numbers. But assuming it doesn’t, anything but celebration over a nine-figure opening is stupid.
For all the beating up of The Last Airbender, its box office, while not world-beating or exciting – especially next to Twilight – is not horrible. If it ends up with a $44 million 3-day or better, it will go into the books as one of the ten best July 4 weekend grosses ever. Still, it’s hardly what Paramount was hoping for… even without the 3D ticket price bump they paid $5m or so to get.
The sad part? The 3D conversion will more than pay for itself this weekend… so keep writing those “3D is ruining movies” stories and studios will keep looking at the bottom line until the audience responds to 3D as critics now are. And let’s keep in mind that Jeffrey Katzenberg’s alarm bell going off – as it did, accurately, at Disney – should be taken more seriously at studios than critics complaining. At first, i felt he was being greedy for his own benefit… and he is, a bit… but in the end, audiences won’t distinguish “good” 3D from bad “3D.” If they decide to reject the form, it will be across-the-board, only allowing for exceptional exceptions, like Avatar 2.
Toy Story 3 continues to be way out in front on previous Pixar product. And it has a good chance of passing Up as the biggest third weekend ever for a Pixar movie.
Grown Ups is holding reasonably well, looking to land somewhere between the gross of Click and The Longest Yard. The picture has a unique position in the market until Dinner For Schmucks and The Other Guys land at the end of the month.
Knight & Day is done. Lots of conversations about it, but I have to say, my feeling forever has been that the only real effect media can have on a movie’s box office is when people are on the fence and the media goes all one way or the other. In this case, the intense negativity about the opening weekend, combined with mixed reviews that spiked much more intensely for those who were very negative than those who were very positive, killed whatever chance this movie had to accelerate.
If I were Cruise and Paramount, I’d be reconsidering Mission: Impossible 4 with Ethan Hunt as the bad guy. Put together an old school I:M team to stop him. And no excuses for him going bad. Let him work on getting missile codes for Al-Qaeda or something harsh. Make a movie ABOUT the Bond villain. Hire someone like Michael Fassbender to lead the team that stops him and keep the series moving forward, with Cruise as a producer, to 5 and beyond.


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