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David Poland

By David Poland

Early Weekend Analysis – 9/24

Emily Rose kicked the ass of The Little Girl Who Lives Down The Lane.
Go figure.
It seems that Red Eye brought Flightplan down to its level, instead of Flightplan being the Big to Red Eye

35 Responses to “Early Weekend Analysis – 9/24”

  1. martin says:

    not a great weekend all around, although flightplan’s $22 seems, (to me anyway) to be about as good as expected. Why would anyone be predicting more than that? Jodie foster is not a big box office draw, it got mixed to poor reviews, and was selling a far-fetched concept (which made it less appealing than the scarier Panic Room). I don’t think the studio should have expected any more than they got this weekend.
    Corpse feels like it opened weak to me, but maybe things will pick up down the road.
    JLH seems destined for video fairly soon. Roll Bounce looked like a summer hit to me when I saw the first trailer, this # is a disappointment.
    Lord of War is unfortunately out of ammo (sorry had to go there). It’s too bad, Niccol seems like a talented guy but his pictures never quite add up in the end. Maybe the next one will hit. LoW may not make much $$, but it was impressively enough made that it should guarantee another shot for Andy.

  2. Joe Leydon says:

    Once again: Keep in mind that in Houston, the fourth largest city in the U.S., movie theatres were closed yesterday and (even though it’s a beautiful sunny afternoon now, since the hurricane missed us) today. Add that to other theater closings in and around the path of Rita, and I think you have circumstances that skew b.o. numbers so drastically that it’s almost impossible to accurately judge what films had the savviest marketing and/or greatest audeince appeal. Unfortunately, in this era of short attention spans and instant gratification, perception is everyting. A film that is perceived as a flop or an under-achiever on opening weekend simply won’t get a second chance. Besides, there are too many new movies coming down the pike next weekend to grab attention.

  3. ETVB says:

    I think “Flight Plans”s numbers are about what I expected. Not too bad at all. I saw the film last Wednesday at a packed premier and I loved it!!! Sure some of it was a little unbelievable,but it had me from start to finish. Jodie Foster is amazing as usual. I just wish she did more films. In my opinion, the best actress of this generation. Peter Sarsgaard was also great in the film. Eric

  4. PandaBear says:

    22 mill and they’re not happy? Yeah right. They’re doing jumping jacks.

  5. Wrecktum says:

    Buena VIsta would have preferred $25m, but they’ll take $22, no doubt.
    At $22, Flightplan would be Buena Vista’s SECOND biggest opening weekend of the year. Poor BV!!

  6. Sanchez says:

    22 is bad? What were they expecting?

  7. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    Interesting to note: Flightplan looks set to open with almost identical numbers to… The Forgotten!
    It’s interesting though to think whether Flightplan would have been more successful if they had pumped an extra couple of million into getting a director like David Fincher (not him personally, but someone with a “name”) because Flightplan and Panic Room were sold as essentially the same movie with a different twist (or, ya know) yet Panic got an extra $8mil…? Sure, Panic had better reviews but I thought we were of the conclusion that reviews don’t matter (or is it only when a bad movie does well?)
    I’m sure BV will be expecting decent legs for Flightplan though. It could get to $75mil though which I think would disappoint them. Red Eye got to $65mil didn’t it?
    On the matter of Corpse Bride, I think a $20mil opening for a STOP MOTION movie that involves all thinks weird and CORPSE-RELATED is good. Stop Motion isn’t a proven formula yet. Remember “Antz” and “Bugs Life” didn’t exactly set the world on fire after “Toy Story” but eventually it got there. So after “Nightmare…” “Chicken Run” and the Wallace & Gromits, $20mil sounds good, and an excellent chance at legs. Plus, it’ll do bonza business on DVD just like Nightmare Before Christmas did on VHS. A possible Oscar-win (Wallace & Gromit seems like it’s major competitor) would help.

  8. MattM says:

    Don’t count out Howl’s Moving Castle in the Animated Feature sweepstakes–Miyazyaki has plenty of fans. And if they could nominate Shark Tale, don’t be shocked if MAdagascar sneaks in to that third slot.
    The big difference between Flightplan and The Forgotten is that Flightplan has at least SOME degree of internal logic and it doesn’t blatantly feel like they were making it up as they went along. I expect Flightplan to have considerably better legs, especially since “mainstream adult thriller” is vacant for a few weeks. “Into The Blue” is going after teens and, honestly, I’m not sure who “Serenity” is going after other than Browncoats.

  9. martin says:

    Serenity looks like a bomb in the making. And I doubt Howl’s Castle will get the Oscar, it got mixed reviews here and did no business. Into the Blue – might do some $$, Stockwell’s a good director, plus it probably didn’t cost much.

  10. Mark Ziegler says:

    Flightplan makes Red Eye look like an Oscar movie.

  11. Chucky in Jersey says:

    Next weekend there’s gonna be a product jam … on the upmarket/arthouse side. “A History of Violence” goes barely wide (1200 or so theaters). “The Greatest Game Ever Played” and “Oliver Twist” go semi-wide (600-1200 theaters). “Separate Lies” and “Thumbsucker” expand to NYC suburbs — quite a few suburban megaplexes are scheduled to get “Thumbsucker”. All this does not look good for the prospects of “Proof”.
    Ironically, the AMC Clifton Commons picked up “Proof” this week and thus could open only 1 print of “Corpse Bride”.
    “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” will make it to $100M+. Had it been moved up 1 week — as Mr. Poland suggested — Universal would have had to bump “The Skeleton Key”.
    Kami: “A Bug’s Life” was a major hit for Disney/Pixar at the end of ’98. “Chicken Run” needed clever marketing to hit $100M+ in the US. Wallace & Gromit are considered snob fare in the States, which means they’ll be a very hard sell to a mainstream US audience.

  12. martin says:

    not only snob fair, but downright unfunny. i have yet to enjoy one of their movies and i doubt statesiders will go for it.

  13. MattM says:

    If Dreamworks can turn a sow’s ear as large and ugly as Madagascar into a silk purse (and they did!), I have utter faith in their ability to do so with W&G, which by all accounts, is really, really good. (Also, remember that it comes out over a long weekend into a fairly empty kids market, which bodes well.)
    Also, on Serenity, if it gets to 30-35M domestic, it’ll probably make its money back, given that the budget is only around 40, and it should do very well in DVD and foreign. I think there’s very little question it’ll have a nice opening day with the rabid fans–the question is if it’ll hold up and cross over. The sci-fi sphere’s pretty empty, so it just might.

  14. Stella's Boy says:

    Are there enough rabid fans for Serenity to have a good opening day? How many people watched the show? 100?

  15. PandaBear says:

    I got a bad feeling that Serenity is going to be under 15 mill week one.

  16. martin says:

    serenity will open OK and have poor word of mouth. $30-35 mill. domestic final is a strong possibility, and that kind of BO on a $40 mill. production plus $20 mill. ad budget is disappointing. Unless it does Stargate + #’s – ie $60-80 mill. no chance of a sequel.
    Anyone remember the last big Space opera? Hitchhikers? Finished under $50 mill. No sequel. I dont think Serenity has the cache of that film.

  17. lindenen says:

    Didn’t Serenity sell over a million dvds? Isn’t that why they decided to go with the movie?

  18. lindenen says:

    Does anyone have any idea why Just Like Heaven is doing so poorly?

  19. ETVB says:

    Anyone know “Flight Plan”s or “Corpse Bride”s budgets??? Eric

  20. martin says:

    a million dvds is $7 mill. in ticket sales. They must be hoping for more of a theatrical than home-video audience.

  21. Stella's Boy says:

    And James Spader is a bigger star than anyone in Serenity. Who really wants to see it, outside of the die-hard Firefly fans?

  22. martin says:

    haha stella’s had to think about that for a second, but you’re right. a better comparison would have been Kurt Russell, who does have a legitimate fanbase that went to stargate. Serenity’s got nothing.. unless Whedon is the star. Selling a movie off a b-director’s name is a bad idea, just look at The Island.

  23. joefitz84 says:

    The reviews better be great or Serenity won’t get out of the die hard fan thing.

  24. JBM... says:

    According to, “Flightplan’s” budget was $55 million and “Corpse Bride’s” was $30 million.
    I know the “Serenity” trailers mention Whedon’s name, but I haven’t seen it in a single TV spot. His directorial debut will bomb through the floor.

  25. Sanchez says:

    Whedon should have taken the X 3 gig.

  26. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    I’m thinking that a Firefly TV movie may have been better. I spose we’ll see if Serenity is a success but I dunno. I know a lot who are pumped for it but alas they were fans of the TV series. In Australia it got aired at 11:30 at night and was constantly taken off and reshuffled and, well, it’s no surprise nobody watched it.
    Serenity’s second week drop is going to be similar in size to that of the world imploding.
    Okay, maybe not that much but it’ll be pretty large I reckon. I sort of hope I’m wrong because Whedon is forever brilliant (Buffy thanks). But I could never catch Firefly.
    On the Animation Oscar: If there’s three nominee’s it’ll probably be Corpse Bride, Wallace and Gromit and then Madagascar. If there’s five though then Howl’s Moving Castle should sneak in and something like, oh god, i dunno… Valiant? hahah, NO WAY.
    It’s really odd that you guys think that W&G isn’t any good. Like… what planet are you on? honestly. That’s one of the most baffling things I’ve read in a long while on here. Truly.
    But nevertheless, The Academy love them (2 Oscars from 3 nominations) so I would consider them the frontrunner. And with Spirited Away’s win it doesn’t come down to how much a movie makes. But, really… you guys don’t like it? That’s crazy talk.

  27. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    i thought Firefly DVD sold 200,000+ not 1,000,000. Big difference in those numbers. The film works for fans but as a non viewer I saw nothing in the trailer that made me want to go see it. What the hell is it about again? I think more people would go to FARSCAPE the movie than this. I love how they’re using scientology methods to get folks along to the opening weekend – browncoats have been brainwashed into bringing 2 non-firefly fans along to the opening weekend. Is Whedon getting advice from Emperor Cruise?

  28. bicycle bob says:

    as a non firefly fan i’m curious to see serenity. looks like it could be decent enough. what other ation flicks are out there now anyway?

  29. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    Hmm, i did write my thing up their incorrectly. I’m sort of like Bob AND Jeffrey. It does look intriguing but from seeing the trailers and ads there’s nothing there (apart from some snappy dialogue) that makes Serenity look any different to any number of sci-fi movies about a group of people in space doing a bunch of stuff.
    I’ll definitely catch up with it on DVD (where I’m sure it’ll make a fortune) but I’ll save my $11 and spend it on movies that I really want to see, which there are quite a few of coming out shortly.

  30. jeffmcm says:

    I don’t see much of a hook for people who didn’t watch the TV show to want to see this movie.

  31. Cadavra says:

    “I don’t see much of a hook for people who didn’t watch the TV show to want to see this movie.”
    Three words: THE NAKED GUN.

  32. martin says:

    naked gun had a great trailer, a funny title, and good reviews. Serenity has none of those.

  33. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    I don’t think anyone who saw the Naked Gun movie went to see the continuation of character arcs or to see the expansion of a tv universe.
    Plus, as Martin said, Naked Gun had great trailers. Hell, the movie itself was great. And, hell, is Serenity turns out to get great reviews and become a huge box-office smash then I probably will see it but at this stage… no.

  34. jeffmcm says:

    Most Naked Gun viewers weren’t even aware of the TV series. They started from scratch, essentially, and made it another movie from the makers of Airplane.

  35. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    exactly! But you can’t do that anymore. Everyone knows if a show gets axed and everyone knows if a movie has come from an axed tv show. it’s the way it goes.

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