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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Early Weekend Analysis

The only thing not crashing is Crashers, Wedding Crashers.
Okay

93 Responses to “Early Weekend Analysis”

  1. jj says:

    Well, it’s official. Hustle & Flow didn’t crossover. Someone needs to convince me they’ll make up for it on DVD, cause I don’t believe it. Too bad, it’s a good movie.

  2. Mason says:

    Wow. The Wedding Crashers barely dropped at all. Will the Island even reach 40 mil domestic? I’m trying to remember a bigger bomb. And big surprise, Stealth is a bomb as well.

  3. Paul V says:

    Sky High did well too. I will pass Stealth and could knock off Charlie for second.

  4. scriptgirl says:

    Not surprised about Hustle & Flow. Movie was decent. But Brad Grey discovered it, over paid for it, over hyped it, and tried to sell it as the next hot indie. Indie’s are supposed to be found by audience buzz. If it comes from a studio head, then it’s the same thing being shoved down their throats. Even the target urban audience, of which I am a member, wasn’t buying it. Not surprised the general public didn’t either.

  5. Paul V says:

    Let see, WC should pass 150 in a couple of weeks, but can it go to 200? I going to say 185.

  6. Panda Bear says:

    Bombs and more bombs this weekend.

  7. cullen says:

    damn…what happened to the male action crowd…the island bombs…now stealth…any other summer and those 2 flicks are big-winners…havent seen stealth yet (it certainly looks like shit), but the island flopping is still a massive head-scratcher to me…it was one of the most entertaining movies of the summer…what does this mean for the future of action movies…rob cohen is gonna have some problems coming up…

  8. Ed says:

    Dear God, what the hell happened to summer moviegoing?? These numbers are closer to APRIL, not AUGUST…The movie studios seem to be getting some kind of nasty karmic payback or something, and, unfortuneately, some pretty good movies are getting creamed (Island, Sky High)

  9. Josh Massey says:

    I really hate defending Rob Cohen, but calling him one of the “worst major directors in history” is a bit absurd. “The Fast and the Furious” was dumb but fun, and “Dragon” and “Daylight” had their moments as well. All I’m saying, really, is I could rattle off 10 worse directors who’ve released movies in the last year, much less in all of Hollywood’s history.
    And no, that doesn’t mean I’m going to see “Stealth.”

  10. Martin says:

    Stealth has the feel of a January or February dump all over it. I don’t think it ever would have been a big hit, no one gives a shit about Biel or Lucas, Foxx probably brought it the only credibility it has, and the concept struck me as the Jamie Lee Curtis bomb Virus in the sky. But with all the marketing and effects behind this movie, $14 mill. is a little strange. Clearly the action audiences are not around right now.

  11. VGM says:

    Sith definitely can get $400 million. I think it’s more Lucas’ call than Fox’s. It’s up to him. Does he care enough to make that push?

  12. Chester says:

    I agree with Josh Massey about Rob Cohen’s work on “Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story.” Highly recommended if you enjoy biopics like “Ray.”
    Problem is, it’s the only quality entry on Cohen’s entire resume.

  13. Martin says:

    Lucas won’t push it anymore, he’s made his money and I don’t really think he cares if it does $400 for the record books. Anything that they bring in at this point will be lost by new marketing/prints so it doesn’t make any sense financially.

  14. Chester says:

    Also, like I said on another thread, I think “Sky High” has a slim shot at the #1 slot this weekend. “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” is mostly done, so parents may be eager for new, good, air-conditioned entertainment for the family.

  15. Martin says:

    very slim shot. It will be lucky to get to #2 though and my guess is that it will simply get ahead of Stealth and be at #3. But SH will hold on for a few weeks and should do $50-60.

  16. Stella's Boy says:

    I think you’re right Chester. Boxofficemojo has the numbers much closer than showbizdata. They have Sky High only about $500,000 behind Charlie and a little over a million behind Wedding Crashers.

  17. Stella's Boy says:

    Well, it’s not that much closer, but still, you get the picture.

  18. ralph says:

    how do i convince my (white) friends to see hustle and flow? none of them want to see it because it looks like another generic urban film to them. its more fun for me to watch movies w/ friends and i want to catch H&F before the local theater drops it due to low box office

  19. Stella's Boy says:

    Go alone. No shame in that.

  20. ralph says:

    meh if i still have no luck on sunday i guess i will, i was hopin for some tips from people who’d seen it though

  21. AnonChicago says:

    Hustle & Flow poorly marketed. A friend & I were talking and she made a prediction about urban movies (ie “black”) and indies, that soon they’ll start opening overseas, Europe & Asia, and get word-of-mouth and then move to the U.S. Maybe that’s the route H&F should have taken. I heard, the studio put $25M into promo. The CD track isn’t doing well either, and if it was in the top 10 Billboard that would give the movie a boost.
    Also heard that H&F2 is in post-production. Probably straight to video.
    As to whites not going to see it, ironically I was in the movie house and an older white woman commented to me (black person) that she really thought Howard was fantastic and she “got” the movie.
    Recently, movie been advertising on local Chicago radio, but I think it’s too late.
    Too bad, good little movie, great performances. Howard should get an Oscar nom but he won’t. It will become a cult classic.

  22. Josh Massey says:

    “Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story” is 10 times better than the wildly overrated “Ray.”

  23. Stella's Boy says:

    I think Dragon is a really good movie as well, though I haven’t seen it in years. However, Rob Cohen’s latest movies have ranged from awful (Fast and the Furious; I prefer the sequel) to totally worthless shit that is painful to sit through (XXX). Looks like Stealth might be even worse than those flicks, and that is saying something. Dragon is a lifetime ago.

  24. joe says:

    stealth was pretty good and jessica biel is hot,i’m tired off the pretentious net geeky virgins sucking up to the island just cause scarlett and ewan give them orgasms. yes you have posters of scarlett you jerk off to so what its still michael bay and he sucks. stop being hypocrites and bashing stealth and praising the island just cause it stars two cult actors who arent famous either just like beil and lucas

  25. Mr. Bloppy says:

    Stealth cost a 100M+ while Sky High cost about 40+. To have Sky High do as well as Stealth (or better) is a little shocking. The folks at Sony must want to kill themselves.

  26. ARSH Q says:

    This proves the point that Sony/Dreamworks/WB all 3 together splitting the costs need to greenlight ASAP an action thirller where Jude Law, Ewan Mcgreegor and Scarlet Johnessen get their memories erased as they are clones and spies who are being chased by killers on a secret island. Throw in another 40 million in the USA on marketing costs alone so 14 year old boys will say to their friends “I would never see that” after the 18 commerical on WWE Smackdown, Get Michael Bay or Rob Cohen direct for an Summer 06 release and you might crack 10 million on opening week. Chris Rock is right. WHO IS JUDE LAW? ARE LINING AROUND THE BLOCK TO SEE EWAN MCDRUNK? NOBODY cares. Overhyped manwhores.

  27. nudel says:

    I know many SW fans aren’t understanding why Sith is disappearing from theaters, when the screens where it *is* showing are still pulling audiences…
    It needs an IMAX release but apparently will not get one. Now that they no longer have the 120 minute limit, I’d love to see Sith on IMAX since there’s no digital near me. Matrix Reloaded and Revolutions were superb on the IMAX screen.
    I don’t really understand how distribution of a film like this (independent) works, but I’m guessing it really is up to Lucas?

  28. JoJo says:

    I might be in the minority here, but I didn’t think HUSTLE & FLOW was all that it was hyped up to be. At the end of the day, I didn’t WANT to see D-Jay succeed. Regardless of the whole “rise above” theme/marketing campaign & the “everybody got to have a dream” stuff, he’s still a pimp who sells drugs, beats one of his hos, makes another one blow a guy so he can get a nice microphone, and beats & almost kills someone else who doesn’t give him what he wants.
    My guess is that these actions are a big turn-off, not only to “middle America,” but to a large segment of “indie” filmgoers. Clearly, we’re supposed to sympathize with and cheer for D-Jay, but personally, I found it very hard to do so.

  29. VGM says:

    I agree with nudel about Sith. I saw it again Wednesday and there were 25 or so people in the theater. Not bad for a movie that’s been out two months. War of the Worlds, by comparison, had 17-18 people when I saw it exactly two weeks after its release. Too bad the digital screenings are ending. That was great. It really is up to Lucas. The SW fans would put it over the top if he gave ’em the chance.

  30. SpamDooley says:

    Bad Movies don’t work.
    Big Surprise.
    I am Spam Dooley and I FEED my people!!!!

  31. lazarus says:

    Is no one else going to mention that by the end of this weekend, Sith may overtake Return of the King in domestic box office? Sure, it won’t come close internationally, but it’s impressive none the less, as the 2 LOTR sequels both outperformed their predecessors. I think that the 6th film in a series snagging the #7 spot is pretty damned impressive.
    All the SW fans would love for Sith to move past Spider-Man, but I doubt it will happen. DP thinks the climate is right for a scond wind, but a $20 million dollar one? I don’t think so. IMAX wouldn’t even do the trick. Lucas adding extra scenes wouldn’t either. Perhaps you get $5-10 million more, but there’s no getting over that $400 million hump. Back in the day a film like Jurassic Park could be in theaters for A FULL YEAR including second run and be in it for the long haul. But not anymore, especially when the DVD window is so small. Hell, they’ve already released the cover art and leaked some of the content info. Who’s going to get off their ass and see it again when they know they’re going to own it November 1st?

  32. Rory says:

    What bizarro-like world have we entered into? These numbers for the box office are just horrible. I think. We might have just crossed into a REAL slump, because these numbers stink to high heaven. Crashers being a good earn, not a bad thing at all. It appears, at least to me, that Stealth and The Island are being put on hold for the audience. Because they would rather rent or buy them on DVD. My conjecture of course, but there has to be some reason the male-action crowd has up and vanished the last two weeks.
    Also, with Hustle and Flow, why would it be so difficult to sympathizes with Djay? Other films, that are loved, have main protagonist have protagonist that do worst things. Blaming the main character and his struggles for the film not crossing over. Sort of ignores that we have dealt with worst characters over the year, that make a pimp wanting to succeed in hip-hop. Look like, a piker. This film, again, could be another DVD release for some people.
    Whateverthecase, we have entered into something really bizarre. Really, really, bizarre.

  33. Sanchez says:

    Luckily Sky High is a bomb so I don’t have to hear anymore comparisons to The Incredibles.

  34. Rory says:

    How exactly can a film that did not cost that much to make, just opened, and will sell on DVD. Be called a bomb? Do you just like faulty logic or jumping to conclusions?

  35. scriptgirl says:

    Rory if you’re talking about Hustle & Flow, Paramount paid 9 mil for it and spent 15 mil marketing it. That takes it to the average amount spent by studios when they produce an urban film inhouse (8-10 mil prod, 10 – 15 marketing). Even bad urban films gross about 20- 25 million theatrical. Hustle & Flow doesn’t look like it’s going to make that.

  36. Martin says:

    Who cares if Sith beats Spider-man? SW ended on a high note with a decent film and good box office. No one will think less of it because it made a few million less than Spiderman. People still rag on Titanic because they don’t think it deserved it’s status as a box office giant. Sith is firmly planted as a hit. Whoring itself out with re-releases would just make it look desperate to get up the box office charts.

  37. Paul V says:

    Here is the weekend numbers from BOM. Only 20% drop for Wedding Crashers
    1 2 Wedding Crashers NL $20,475,000 -20.2%
    2 1 CATCF $16,385,000 -42.0%
    3 N Sky High BV $14,590,000
    4 N Stealth Sony $13,500,000
    5 N Must Love Dogs WB $13,050,000
    6 3 Fantastic Four Fox $6,800,000 -46.2%
    7 4 The Island DW $5,600,000 -54.9%
    8 6 War of the Worlds Par. $5,435,000 -39.1%
    9 5 Bad News Bears Par. $5,425,000 -52.3%
    10 10 March of the Penguins WIP $4,131,000 -5.7%
    11 7 Hustle and Flow ParC $4,000,000 -50.1%

  38. togmeister says:

    No-one’s yet commented that WOTW has this weekend become Tom Cruise’s highest grossing film ever – guess all the career suicide articles can wait a little while longer. I think WOTW might just squeak being Spielberg’s biggest grosser since Jurassic Park but it’ll be a tough call, i think Lost World and Saving Private Ryan (which had legs for months and an Oscar run-in re-release) both finished on around $235 million. I still think IMAX will get a release for Sith in the fall that will get it across $400 million. Look how the large-format showings saved Polar Express from box-office mediocrity.

  39. AnonChicago says:

    As it regards H&F, it was marketed poorly — and it was released too early, in the middle of “kiddie” traffic. Not enough adults are beating down the door to see “adult” movies, but when I was at the theatre there was a lot of families (dad + kids, mom+dad+kids) going to the movies. So for them to release it NOW was a poor decision. Plus, the movie should have been released overseas in the Asian & European market FIRST instead of here.

  40. Chucky in Jersey says:

    “Star Wars Episode 3″ is gone from most theaters due to product flow. Fanboys alone cannot sustain an overhyped picture. Heck, the Ziegfeld in NYC played “Episode 3″ for only 6 weeks!
    As for not seeing “Episode 3″ in IMAX? Most commercial IMAX theaters booked “Batman Begins” into “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”. Warner Bros. is committed to commercial IMAX — 20th Century Fox is not.

  41. Angelus21 says:

    In 6 weeks the movie made 300 million. I don’t think anyone is complaining.

  42. Carl says:

    I tend to agree re: Hustle and Flow. I’m not sure why anyone at Paramount thought that it WOULD cross over. Good reviews or not, it simply doesn’t appeal to anything resembling a wide audience. The music in the film is somewhat catchy, but certainly not distinctive. The lead character is despicable, regardless of what the writer/director wants the audience to think. It has no stars whatsoever. Add those three things up, and you’re looking at mediocre-at-best box office–which is exactly what the film is getting.

  43. Martin says:

    I think they figured that the reviews would put it over the top… but that’s always a risky assumption. It looked too gritty for the art-house crowd, too arty for the urban/teen crowd, and had no stars to attract any general crowd. You put one or two known names in there and people would’ve showed up. The fact that they already made a sequel for this bomb is insane.

  44. Carl says:

    My predictions for the sequel: D-Jay actually shoots and kills one of his “hos,” instead of just choking her and throwing her out on the street with her baby. He then beats and rapes someone who disses him instead of beating and shooting them, like in the original. Later, he sells crack to a group of 7-year olds, and two of them O.D. But, hey, we should all love him because his latest single is getting a lot of radio play, and he’s trying to rise above…

  45. Panda Bear says:

    Hustle and Flow just doesn’t appeal to middle america white folks. Just the way it is. They don’t really care about rappers, pimps and ho’s. It had better be really good.

  46. Carl says:

    Just for the record, the Hustle and Flow director, Craig Brewer, is a white guy.

  47. Martin says:

    H&F didn’t NEED to appeal to middle-america. Its a bomb because it didn’t even do well with coastal urban markets.

  48. Carl says:

    Martin, I actually think my comments about Hustle and Flow apply universally, and not just to middle America, the more I think about it. Audiences just don’t want to see D-Jay succeed, period.

  49. mario says:

    xxx is the biggest bomb of the year i think? that cost well over 100 mil and only made like 30 something..thats bad…double check it but i think that could be it. Island is a big bomb.

  50. David Poland says:

    There is no sequel to Hustle & Flow. Bad rumor.

  51. Carl says:

    Sequel or not, my comments about what might be in a potential sequel probably aren’t too far off…

  52. Lota says:

    Hustle & Flow, despite Howard’s good acting didn’t do well and won’t do well with inner city folk (“urban” audiences) because folks are tired of the ‘same old’. we’ve seen this story before and people rather see Diary of a Mad Black woman which has a different fresh take on male dysfunctional behavior than H&F which doesn’t add much, and in a way is depressing.
    It seems to many that a bling-bling jerk (regardless if he’s black, ango, hispanic) who knocks women around is succeeding too much in the movies, and we don’t care about That Guy. There are many other urban stories to tell.

  53. LesterFreed says:

    Forget sequels. Just give T Howard some better roles in up coming movies. That’s all I ask.

  54. Anon Chicago says:

    In answer to Lota – Re H&F, I go back to my original comments. Barbershop was an “urban” movie but it made a lot of money. There were “despicable” characters in Casino, and you can name quite a few more movies where the characters were despicable but the acting and the storyline put it over the top.
    Marketing the movie in the summertime was the problem. Should have been released earlier in the year or later in August or the fall. NOT NOW when all the kiddies are in the movies. Adults are going to see Charlie. Families are. Ditto Bad News Bears, March of the Penguins. Just go to any multiplex and it’s filled with kids on the weekends.
    Plus, the soundtrack needs to sell. It’s languishing in Billboard.
    I think Terrence is promo’ing the hell out of the movie, but it was released the wrong way. Overseas first, then America. Get the soundtrack going up the charts.
    Lots of pirated copies of H&F in the streets. Plus HWD has to catch up with technology and stop depending on movie houses for its money. I just downloaded Hitch & Closer on my computer via movielink. What would be results if more indies made their movies available offline and online at the time of release?

  55. jeffmcm says:

    I can understand why someone would download a movie like Closer, which is largely a filmed stage play, but lot of movies should only be seen on a big screen for proper impact.

  56. Carl says:

    Anon, what are you talking about? Why in the world would Paramount release Hustle and Flow overseas first?? It would have even less of an audience internationally.

  57. David Poland says:

    I think you answered your own question, Anon… you downloaded two commercial studio movies, not indies.

  58. Carl says:

    David, since you seemed to be a big champion of Hustle and Flow, can you tell me what Paramount (and you…) saw in the film that made it look like it had breakout potential?

  59. Anon Chicago says:

    David: I also download indies, like whale rider. Movielink has the old & the new. Why would they release it overseas? Do you remember the Last Seduction? It was “found” in British theatres, never released here, but once the buzz got going was brought to the states.
    A lot of HongKong movies find an audience first in Asian countries & European countries and then are brought to the states.
    It’s just a marketing tactic.
    I just don’t think H&F should have been released in the summertime. It needed a big “song”/ CD soundtrack to get momentum going.
    What do we see in H&F? For me it was a total surprise. Didn’t know what to expect but stayed with the movie and the acting all the way and was praying all along that there was a happy ending, and there was (sort of).

  60. Martin says:

    Watching a 2 hour movie on my computer sounds like a distinct form of torture. People will never go for that. On-demand may be the next thing for TV, but anything more than 5-10 minutes is painful to watch on a computer monitor.

  61. Lota says:

    anon CHicago–
    black/hispanic/indian/mixed etc can’t get interested in one more pimp who got success in hip hop after brutalizing folks on his way up. Barbershop made money becasue it was funny and was real neighborhood–positive and negative, not just all negative and stereotypes. Sometimes I think white people think that the only thing people of color are interested in is more Gangstas. Wrong. There are a small %-age of the population and no law abiding citizen wants to see Pimps glorified.
    I didn’t see much that was positive in H&F. It reminded me of all the jerks from my youth who I don’t want to succeed.
    I think the release had little to do with it. Word of mouth from myself and friends of african or latin extraction would be “it’s old” and “do they all think we’re pimps or hos?”.

  62. Carl says:

    Anon, I’m now convinced you’re clueless, so I won’t ask for any further clarification from you. If you don’t see the inherent differences between movies like Last Seduction and Hustle & Flow, there’s not much I can do to make you see the light.
    Plus, how is D-Jay beating someone close to death, shooting another guy, and ending up in jail a “happy ending?” Because his single’s getting some airplay? Woo hoo. That’s really uplifting…

  63. David Poland says:

    Hustle & Flow –
    Lots of different opinions, including from certain studios at Sundance.
    The truth is, for me, that Paramount overpaid. That said, I thought it could do a bit better than it will… more like $40 million. I believe there was a way to reach white teens. Others, who do this for a living very successfully, disagree with me. So take it with a grain.
    But both issues are part of the real problem with the film. Once you pay $9 million and you get all this hype, the power equation shifts and people start acting dumb. The pressure caused Paramount to overspend on advertising and the large ad budget caused them to chase an undefined audience because narrow targetting wouldn’t make the movie profitable in balance with the expenditures. And once you take such a very niche film and fail to define the audience, you are dead. (Have you ever seen how tough this character is in the ads? Have you ever been given the impression that this is a street pimp?) And when tracking didn’t go their way, they spent more, creating more pressure.
    I think that under the circumstances, the $20 million or so this film may do is a success under bad circumstances. I think it should have been able to do more, but I think they had to chase a big niche instead of the amorphous wide audience.

  64. Carl says:

    But, David, you’re still not answering my real question. What was it about this movie that made anyone think it would have a significant (however one chooses to define that) audience? I’m talking about the actual content of the movie here, not nebulous marketing ideas/schemes.

  65. Lota says:

    By the way Anon Chicago–Comparing the type of movie H&F is to Casino or Godfather is illogical at best. White people have 100X more movies where they are featured in any positive light and yeah there are dispicable characters but they don’t maintain or strengthen any type of stereotype about the entire race becasue + swamps out the -. I can’t say that about African, Latin or American Indians.
    There are so few African/hispanic leads until the last few years, and progress is good, even great for African Americans in TV now, to a lesser degree in film.
    I can’t get excited about a movie which seems like a reversal, despite Terrence’s great acting.
    People are talking like white people stayed away–well black people stayed away too, the numbers and my wide circle of friends reinforces that assertion.

  66. Panda Bear says:

    Where is the market for Hustle and Flow? Rappers and pimps? And not cuddly ones like Eminem. It has a small niche market. It has to hope it makes its money back on dvd.

  67. Lota says:

    the market for Hustle and Flow is presumably inner cities and colleg students Panda Bear, but I think the main lead managed to turn people off.
    Eminem is not cuddly, but has an additional white teen fan base which was only potential for H&F.

  68. scriptgirl says:

    TOTALLY agree with David Poland’s analysis on H &F. And as I said earlier an independent film is supposed to get discovered and tell the distributor who and how large the audience is, not the other way around. The tail was wagging the dog here. And they tried to sell it to the black audience like it came from them and it didn’t. Alot of black moviegoers attend arthouse films and indies (to get a wider selection of stories on film) and there was a feeling that with all the movies out there, why did you decide to “discover” and push this one and this one alone? Quite frankly, from what I was hearing, the film did better than I thought it would.
    (And remember, right before Sundance Brad Grey was just made chairman of Paramount and wanted to prove to everyone that he was in control and was going to loosen the purse strings.)

  69. Anon Chicago says:

    Another reason for low b-o #’s. Has it occurred to anyone that there are no “likeable” stars? Back in the day, there were so many likeable stars from John Wayne to Rosalind Russell to you name it. They could open a movie and they made TV appearances on specials. Regardless of their private lives, they were just likeable.
    I can on one hand name about 4-5 likeable stars that I would go to the movies for anytime they star in a movie, and that’s starting to shrink.

  70. joefitz84 says:

    No likeable stars? Tell that to the agents and money people behind Cruise, Carrey, Sandler, Crowe, Ford, Diaz, Lopez, Aniston, Pitt, Smith, DiCaprio, Foxx, Washington, Maguire, etc, etc. Even Colin Farrel gets paid.

  71. Joe Leydon says:

    If “Hustle and Flow” bombs — it’s yet ANOTHER argument for why movies were better in the ’70s — audiences were more adventurous then. Look at the protagonists of “French Connection” (racist, brutal cop), “Saturday Night Fever” (racist, nearly commits date rape), “Superfly” (pimp/dope peddler), “Straw Dogs” (hero kills intruders, proves he is master of his domain) — you couldn’t get away with that today.

  72. Lota says:

    yeah alot of the 70s movies were better. the anti-hero, male and female just seemed to be better thought out as stories, but there did seem to be gratuitous violence too. But in Sat Night Fever–yeah there was racism, and it was shown to be just that, I don’t think the movie promoted it. that’s why Tony gave the trophy to the Puerto Ricans, he knew they were ripped off. The other thing…it wasn’t even a date–he was a jerk and shown to be that too.
    that said I don;t think we need lots more Superflys or Straw Dogs, even though some of the blaxploitation movies turned out to be really good. I think there was something OTT that was needless in Hustle & Flow…maybe making some uncool things look cool and pervasive just by all the surroundings, the music. but that’s just me.
    Maybe it was popular at fests becasue it isn’t a ‘same-old’ negative image to white people [which SUndance etc are very pale fests], and thus it was overpaid. The OTT affected the rating and as someone already said, probably kep the youngsters away, and the movie def wasn’t appropriate for youngsters.
    Terrence Howard was good though.

  73. Carl says:

    Joe, are you serious? At least in French Connection, the cop, while dirty, was tracking down drug dealers. In Straw Dogs, Hoffman kills the guys who raped his wife. I’m not even going to comment on Saturday Night Fever, because comparing it to any of these movies is just asinine.
    The point is that in Hustle and Flow, D-Jay’s actions are completely selfish. He’s not getting revenge for his wife who’s been wronged. He’s not tracking down drug dealers; he *IS* a drug dealer. This has nothing to do with audiences not being adventurous. It simply means that audiences see through the manipulation that’s being attempted by the writer/director. Craig Brewer tries SO hard to make us like D-Jay–yet, in the end, we have absolutely no reason to like him.

  74. Sanchez says:

    Popeye Doyle wasn’t dirty. He did unseemly things like screw random women, shakedown junkies and beat up punks but he wasn’t on the take. He was a good cop. So don’t be dissing him like that.

  75. nic says:

    how come no one’s talking about the $65 000 screen average on THE ARISTOCRATS (admittedly on 4 screens only, but still)…
    Will this film break out? early guesstimates on final theatrical gross? Anyone? Anyone?

  76. Anon Chicago says:

    “He’s not getting revenge for his wife who’s been wronged.”
    To Carl: I don’t think Shug is the wife. She’s the hooker who got pregnant accidentally.
    I just thought the whole scenario of the extended (non-related) family working to eek out a living was fascinating. Was I the only one? And frankly, it happens all over America in urban/ghetto settings. You will find 3-4 people living together in a one-bdrm, 2-bdrm house just to pay the rent. Especially here in Chicago and I’m sure in NYC too.
    As for him being a pimp, pimps are around us even in legitimate settings (Britney spears anyone?). They’re just not called pimps. They’re called partners, husband-managers, etc. etc.
    IMO H&F was a picture “after” its time. A year, maybe 5 years ago it would have made an impact, but today we’re so PI and so protective about what’s put on screen, it didn’t have much of a chance on the big screen.
    Now — DVD and payperview, it’s going to bloom.

  77. Carl says:

    Anon Chicago: I KNOW Shug or Sug or whatever isn’t D-Jay’s wife. I wasn’t saying she was. I was contrasting Hustle and Flow to Straw Dogs, which Joe Leydon brought up. In Straw Dogs, Dustin Hoffman kills the people who raped his wife, hence my comment. I was saying D-Jay DOESN’T do anything like that, i.e., his actions aren’t “justified.”

  78. Anon Chicago says:

    Actually when you look at the per-theatre receipts, H&F still came up 4th or 5th. If it expanded to 500 more theatres, would that make a difference?
    But as mentioned all bo receipts are down.
    IMO just too much product out there & product that’s mediocre.

  79. unemployed says:

    Hustle & Flow/Bad News Bears looks like a calculated set-up to clear out the rest of the marketing department at Paramount. Strangely it’s just an example of how out of step a big studio can be with the audience. The Paramount Purge just continues.

  80. Joe Leydon says:

    Carl: When was the last time you watched “Straw Dogs”? Because if it’s been a while (which I suspect), you might want to go back & take a second look to refresh yr memory about certain key plot points. For openers, Hoffman’s character doesn’t know anything about the rape before he starts dropping people.

  81. jeffrey boam's doctor says:

    you say rape i say tomatoe. i say rough sex you say potato. lets call the Straw Dog off.

  82. Stella's Boy says:

    Just watched Straw Dogs and Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia. Great movies.

  83. Panda Bear says:

    How could you have never seen Straw Dogs? You 13?

  84. Stella's Boy says:

    You’ve seen every movie ever made? That’s impressive. Must take up a lot of time. Actually, I had seen Straw Dogs years ago, but had never seen Alfredo Garcia before. Decided to watch them both and have a Peckinpah double feature. But thanks for immediately trying to insult me. Very mature of you.

  85. Lota says:

    If you are into the early 70s SB, watch Soldier Blue if you haven’t seen it yet.

  86. Lota says:

    and also a Man called Horse (1970).

  87. Stella's Boy says:

    That I have not seen. Thank you for the recommendation. I also saw Scarecrow recently, for the first time. Loved it.

  88. Lota says:

    i have lots. the 69-71 was a good period for US and UK and Italian and Aussie movies

  89. atthesoundofthefallingtree says:

    Just watched Straw Dogs and Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia. Great movies.
    Warren Oates, baby! Alfredo Garcia is a truly deranged flick.
    Straw Dogs/Marathon Man makes a good double-feature, too. See Dusty snap.
    Straight Time is a good, fairly obscure, Hoffman film, with Harry Dean and M. Emmett Walsh.

  90. Lota says:

    M emmett walsh is one of my favorite people. emmett rocks.
    Also Stella, please stock up on Paul Bartels’ movies. He was very talented/underrated, may he RIP.

  91. TheatreGeek says:

    Coming in late on the SW comment, but the reason we dropped it so fast is because keeping it was too expensive. Most prints we get a sliding scale on the ticket prices. SW stayed at 90/10 and wasn’t changing. Once audience levels dropped there was no money to be had on our end to keep the expensive print when others were playing with more audience with a higher ticket percentage going to the theater. Lucas priced himself out of the game.

  92. Joe Leydon says:

    Another great ’70s movie: “Night Moves,” directed by Arthur Penn, starring Gene Hackman. Newly released on DVD.

  93. Stella's Boy says:

    Yeah I want to see Night Moves Joe. I made a note of it. And speaking of Hackman, I know it’s not a ’70s movie, but I just rented Under Fire.

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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