MCN Blogs
David Poland

By David Poland

Weekend Review

A tie. That’s what the studios reported on Sunday, estimating that both of Leonardo DiCaprio’s starrers, Titanic and The Man in the Iron Mask, both made exactly $17.5 million. They didn’t. Who actually won the race should be sorted out by this afternoon. But keep this in mind. In order to hit the $17.5 million mark, Titanic had to have dropped less than one percent (about $100,000) after dropping over eight percent each of the last few weeks. Additionally, Titanic dropped over $100,000 on Saturday alone, meaning that the Friday and Sunday numbers would have had to have been up. Unlikely. Also at stake is Titanic‘s claim to the record for most consecutive weekends at Number One. If it wins this weekend, it gets the nod. That may be reason enough to tap dance around the truth a little. I know that some of you want proof when I suggest that fudging numbers could be taking place, but no one really knows but the studio bookkeepers.
In other box office news, U.S. Marshals dropped just 31 percent. Much better than I expected. The rest of the Top Ten was pretty much the same, with a few slot changes, including Good Will Hunting, which maintained much stronger legs than the newer product to gain three slots and fourth place.
THE GOOD: The Wedding Singer passed the $60 million mark on its way to about $75 million domestic. And so far, every person that’s mentioned the film to me has liked it a lot. “Sweet,” they say. Just what we need more of these days.
THE BAD: Had The Man In The Iron Mask managed the expected $20 million-plus instead of $17.5 million, there would have been no doubt who won this weekend. It’s hard to say that $17.5 million is a disappointment, but even if the Masked Man beats the Big Boat, the LeoManiacs didn’t come out in the expected droves.
THE UGLY: Chairman of the Board opened this weekend and no one seemed to notice. No sight of Carrot Top in the Top Ten, which is good, since his presence would signal the coming of the apocalypse.
TWO BAD MOVIES EQUAL: The Man in the Iron Mask + The Big Lebowski = The Man In The Big Iron Lebowski. In a Polish twist on being in a pickle, Jeff Bridges stars as one of the best actors of his generation who keeps getting stuck in huge leaden movies that can’t lift off the box office launchpad. The film is a prequel to the Dennis Quaid-starrer, The Man In The Big Iron Smirk.
JUST WONDERING: Why did so many of you decide not to write me last week? Was it because you knew I was away or didn’t you care about ShoWest?
BAD AD WATCH: Sony had a good week in Las Vegas last week, but Wild Things is struggling out of the gate with “Sexy Sizzler” reviews from three small-market TV types (Mike Cidoni, credited as from ABC-TV; Dennis Willis from KGO-TV; Craig Kopp from WCPO-TV) and Tracie Sheppard from E.T. Online.
RETURN OF THE BOX OFFICE CONTEST: Starting this weekend, I’ll be giving away cool stuff from ShoWest for the person who can best guess each weekend’s box office outcome. In honor of my last week in the desert, this week’s prize will be a T-shirt from the upcoming Johnny Depp movie, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Rules will turn up later this week.
SHOWEST EXTRA: Besides kicking preview butt, Godzilla‘s ShoWest also offered up a look at the movie’s theater standee, which not only offers up a flashing Godzilla eyeball, but a first-ever standee rain storm. Keep an eye out (no pun intended) for it. And if, for some reason, you still need to catch up on ShoWest, watch for Wednesday’s cover story and check out the daily columns. The weekend’s wrap-up has links to the entire week of coverage.
READER OF THE DAY: From Denise G: “I would like to go out on a limb to predict that everyone is going to be stunned when The Man In The Iron Mask does smelly business at the box office. It so obviously sucks that I won’t even go see it despite the presence of the smoldering, sexy Gabriel Byrne! Only the most diehard Leo teenybopper fans will attend, and I doubt if that will add up to the $20 million that you are forecasting. My estimate is a modest $8-12 million.”

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Leonard Klady's Friday Estimates
Friday Screens % Chg Cume
Title Gross Thtr % Chgn Cume
Venom 33 4250 NEW 33
A Star is Born 15.7 3686 NEW 15.7
Smallfoot 3.5 4131 -46% 31.3
Night School 3.5 3019 -63% 37.9
The House Wirh a Clock in its Walls 1.8 3463 -43% 49.5
A Simple Favor 1 2408 -50% 46.6
The Nun 0.75 2264 -52% 111.5
Hell Fest 0.6 2297 -70% 7.4
Crazy Rich Asians 0.6 1466 -51% 167.6
The Predator 0.25 1643 -77% 49.3
Also Debuting
The Hate U Give 0.17 36
Shine 85,600 609
Exes Baggage 75,900 62
NOTA 71,300 138
96 61,600 62
Andhadhun 55,000 54
Afsar 45,400 33
Project Gutenberg 36,000 17
Love Yatri 22,300 41
Hello, Mrs. Money 22,200 37
Studio 54 5,300 1
Loving Pablo 4,200 15
3-Day Estimates Weekend % Chg Cume
No Good Dead 24.4 (11,230) NEW 24.4
Dolphin Tale 2 16.6 (4,540) NEW 16.6
Guardians of the Galaxy 7.9 (2,550) -23% 305.8
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 4.8 (1,630) -26% 181.1
The Drop 4.4 (5,480) NEW 4.4
Let's Be Cops 4.3 (1,570) -22% 73
If I Stay 4.0 (1,320) -28% 44.9
The November Man 2.8 (1,030) -36% 22.5
The Giver 2.5 (1,120) -26% 41.2
The Hundred-Foot Journey 2.5 (1,270) -21% 49.4