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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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“A shot is a story. A shot on its own should be a piece of a story. Which is why I talk a lot about watching films, even the films we’re working on, with the sound off. Just to analyze how the film works, because a film should work for an audience without any sound. The biggest problem I see is that someone may have a superficial understanding of what a shot is propositionally, but they don’t have an understanding of how all of these shots are part of a family that needs to connect, and so you’ll get something that’s like a sentence arranged poorly with six nouns in a row. That surprises me, because I think that’s something that can be learned. Some things can’t be, but that can. It’s a grammar. In a classroom I could walk somebody through the difference between a sequence in which the filmmaker has a deep understanding of how images connect, and someone who doesn’t. It’s not really an intellectual process. Some people are just born with it and are just sort of savants at that deep mathematical understanding of shot construction.  I’m better than I used to be, but there are some people I’m just never going to catch. Spielberg. His staging ability. I’m never going to catch him. But when you’re trying to figure out how to get better—I’m not competitive in the sense of looking around at other filmmakers and comparing myself to them. What I do have to think about in trying to navigate myself through a career is: what can I get better at, and what do I have that I can enhance that somebody else doesn’t have?”
~ Steven Soderbergh

“It’s not going to be huge. He and I had been corresponding for a while. When I finally met him, he said, ‘We should collaborate.’ When John Ashbery says that to you, you don’t say when, you just say yes. It has not been easy to conjure this out of nothing. Sean Price Williams and I spent time with him, and it will appear on FilmStruck before the year is out…. I have figured out how to streamline things. I still have dreams of making movies with bigger budgets, and they might be considered to have more of a voice in pop culture. I don’t want to let go of that. I also realize that you grow up a lot of your life with wishful thinking and waiting. I have figured out ways to avoid doing that. I am working on a bigger movie about Nikola Tesla, set in the past, so it is not an easy film to make. I am also working on an adaptation of Don DeLillo’s ‘White Noise.’ That seems more likely to catch fire.”
Michael Almereyda Steps It Up