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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Sunday Estimates by Klady

A huge congratulations is due Gerry Rich and the team at Paramount Pictures for turning a movie that was having some serious problems with interest among its core audience into a strong opener with a new campaign run over just a couple of weeks.
The big questions about the success of Failure To Launch are going to be about the value of Matthew McConaughey and Sarah Jessica Parker, who is in her second theatrical hit in three months. Fox focused on Parker first and foremost throughout the campaign for The Family Stone. Here, Paramount ended up going away from Parker to focus on the parents in order to explain the horrible title. But one could argue that they laid the groundwork for her (and McConaghey

14 Responses to “Sunday Estimates by Klady”

  1. b diddy says:

    After Failure to Launch and How to Lose a Guy, Matthew McConoughey better start lining up all the B-list actresses he can so he can prolong his career another 5 years.

  2. martindale says:

    I’m not sure why so many were predicting “Failure” to be a flop. Consider that there hasn’t been a romantic comedy since the holidays. Factor in McConoughey’s appeal and you have the recipe for a decent hit. Sure, it looks like an awful movie, but that hasn’t stopped other rom coms from doing well at the box office.

  3. David Poland says:

    It was so predicted because tracking was in the toilet, which is why the campaign changed so drastically.

  4. EDouglas says:

    Actually, Failure to Launch was tracking better than Shaggy Dog and Hills Have Eyes for at least two to three weeks before opening.. but I think the new ad campaign made the difference between a $15 million opening and a close to $24 million one. I thought the market was in desperate need of a strong rom-com… my sister who never goes to the movies was telling me how she wanted to see this weeks ago not realizing that it didn’t open until this past Friday.

  5. jeffmcm says:

    Is there a place where one can gain access to the great and powerful “Tracking” or is it something you have to, like, pay money for?

  6. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    Can you imagine what might have happened if they had clicked into a better campaign earlier and released this at Valentine’s Day?
    Let’s not forget that other B-grade actress that has co-starred with Matthew lately. PENELOPE CRUZ! You know… the one that can’t speak english.
    The Hills Have Eyes’ lower gross is a bit disappointing. Why THIS one that didn’t go gangbusters? God, I don’t understand the people that go see these movies. SO finicky.

  7. frame24 says:

    Paramount ran ads on sport radio stations featuring Terry Bradshaw. GENIUS. How many times have guys ever gotten their ladies to go see a rom-com? GENIUS. Somebody in the marketing department just earned a Caribbean vacation.

  8. Kambei says:

    Saw Beowulf & Grendel up here in Canadaland. It’s pretty good in many ways–scenery, violence, most of the acting, decent storyline–but man, does Sarah Polley drag the whole thing down. :( Everyone sounds very “epic” and “legendary” with their Norse accents (and odd Scottish/Irish thrown in), but the Canuck accent just stands out…eek.
    Iceland does look like an amazing place to visit, though.

  9. Chucky in Jersey says:

    You know men went to see “Failure to Launch” when word got out that Terry Bradshaw bared his arse.

  10. EDouglas says:

    I’m jealous… been dying to see Beowulf & Grendel and no idea when it might open here. I love Iceland!

  11. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    Wait, weren’t they making a huge Beowulf movie that was set to be a huge blockbuster? Why are they releasing it in limited Canadian release? Or is this another one of those two-at-once situations?

  12. jeffmcm says:

    You’re thinking of the Robert Zemeckis Beowulf movie, made in the same style as The Polar Express, due out next year.

  13. Kambei says:

    yeah…there’s no CGI in this one, that’s for sure. The monster is just some huge guy in heavy make-up. It’s not too bad, though, because the guy is very very large–and it makes the story somewhat closer to the realms of believability. The best special effect is Iceland, though. It fits the story so well, it’s on par with the New Zealand landscapes in LOTR. But I still don’t recommend the movie too highly.

  14. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    I’m still so confused as to why they would make a Beowulf and Grendel movie and release it in limited release in Canada? It’s such a big tale, why did it only get a version like this? I thought the Sarah Polley version was meant to be BIG. Strange.

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“Let me try and be as direct as I possibly can with you on this. There was no relationship to repair. I didn’t intend for Harvey to buy and release The Immigrant – I thought it was a terrible idea. And I didn’t think he would want the film, and I didn’t think he would like the film. He bought the film without me knowing! He bought it from the equity people who raised the money for me in the States. And I told them it was a terrible idea, but I had no say over the matter. So they sold it to him without my say-so, and with me thinking it was a terrible idea. I was completely correct, but I couldn’t do anything about it. It was not my preference, it was not my choice, I did not want that to happen, I have no relationship with Harvey. So, it’s not like I repaired some relationship, then he screwed me again, and I’m an idiot for trusting him twice! Like I say, you try to distance yourself as much as possible from the immediate response to a movie. With The Immigrant I had final cut. So he knew he couldn’t make me change it. But he applied all the pressure he could, including shelving the film.”
James Gray

“I’m an unusual producer because I control the destiny of a lot of the films I’ve done. Most of them are in perfect states of restoration and preservation and distribution, and I aim to keep them in distribution. HanWay Films, which is my sales company, has a 500-film catalogue, which is looked after and tended like a garden. I’m still looking after my films in the catalogue and trying to get other people to look after their films, which we represent intellectually, to try to keep them alive. A film has to be run through a projector to be alive, unfortunately, and those electric shadows are few and far between now. It’s very hard to go and see films in a movie house. I was always involved with the sales and marketing of my films, right up from The Shout onwards. I’ve had good periods, but I also had a best period because the film business was in its best period then. You couldn’t make The Last Emperor today. You couldn’t make The Sheltering Sky today. You couldn’t make those films anymore as independent films. There are neither the resources nor the vision within the studios to go to them and say, “I want to make a film about China with no stars in it.”Then, twenty years ago, I thought, “OK, I’m going to sell my own films but I don’t want to make it my own sales company.” I wanted it to be for me but I wanted to make it open for every other producer, so they don’t feel that they make a film but I get the focus. So, it’s a company that is my business and I’m involved with running it in a certain way, but I’m not seen as a competitor with other people that use it. It’s used by lots of different producers apart from me. When I want to use it, however, it’s there for me and I suppose I’m planning to continue making all my films to be sold by HanWay. I don’t have to, but I do because it’s in my building and the marketing’s here, and I can do it like that. Often, it sounds like I’m being easy about things, but it’s much more difficult than it sounds. It’s just that I’ve been at it for a long time and there’s lots of fat and security around my business. I know how to make films, but it’s not easy—it’s become a very exacting life.”
~ Producer Jeremy Thomas