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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Friday Estimates by Klady

The sturm & drang by the Axis Of Idiots over the opening of Miami Vice is silly. It will be Mann’s best opening ever and no doubt, Universal hopes it is his best international performer ever. Does anyone out there really think that Universal green lit the film without being aware of Mann

49 Responses to “Friday Estimates by Klady”

  1. mutinyco says:

    Thanks for the upscaling. My grandmother was having difficulty reading the charts.

  2. Spacesheik says:

    “Thanks for the upscaling. My grandmother was having difficulty reading the charts”.
    hahahaha cheeky bastard

  3. martindale says:

    Surprise, surprise. Yet another underperformer from WB (Ant Bully). Oh well. If Sony can recover from a disasterous last year, then I suppose WB can do the same next year.

  4. Josh Massey says:

    I really did want to see “Clerks 2,” but at this point, I guess I should just wait for the DVD. I mean, what’s three weeks gonna hurt?

  5. Lota says:

    wow. Lady in the water is all dried out now. Ant Bully really bombed. my neighbor’s kids liked it but looks like most kids are in pools this weekend.

  6. abba_70s says:

    I can honestly say it’s not too many times I have to back up 20 feet to read a chart 😉
    Anyone else surprised at Miami Vice’s opening day gross? Uni beter hope that it’s not all front loaded gross.
    Talladega is coming!!

  7. jeffmcm says:

    Has anyone heard of those five limited-release movies at the bottom of the list? Any of them any good?

  8. Blackcloud says:

    I think that “Freedom to Fascism” one is Chucky on the Moon’s manifesto against contemporary America.

  9. Joe Leydon says:

    Could the “Ant Bully” under-performnace be blamed on toon overload? I mean, think about it: “Monster House” last week, “Barnyard” next week…. Don’t you think some parents (maybe MOST parents) have only so much money than can budget for movie tickets?

  10. jeffmcm says:

    It’s also worth noticing that Superman Returns is now out of the top ten.

  11. djk813 says:

    Brothers of the Head is interesting, if flawed. It’s the narrative (though done as a faux-documentary) feature debut from Pepe and Fulton who have made a bunch of “making of” featurettes and the documentary Lost in La Mancha.

  12. Blackcloud says:

    And, Joe, by the end of the year all will be on DVD, and parents can pick up all three and the kids can watch over and over and over again for the price of taking four or five kids (plus parent) to only one of them in the theater.

  13. Blackcloud says:

    The graphics gave me a flashback to Win95 and Netscape 3. The horror!!!

  14. EDouglas says:

    Scoop’s doing about what I thought (2.6 for weekend)… Little MIss Sunshine isn’t doing bad and that’s pretty good for an expansion or two.

  15. Josh Massey says:

    “Could the “Ant Bully” under-performnace be blamed on toon overload?”
    Of course it is. If I was a studio holding on to a computer-animated feature, I’d delay it until at least next March – or maybe even later, with the exception of “Shrek the Third.” The folks behind “Barnyard” are in for a long weekend.

  16. Eric says:

    I think computer animation is common enough now that it isn’t a draw in and of itself. There’s no gee-whiz factor, so something like Ant Bully sinks because it looks like it offers nothing that twenty films before it did not.
    I wish Monster House had found a larger audience– I really loved it.
    Shouldn’t be surprised about the Clerks drop, but damn. I hope Kevin Smith has realized that the well has run dry for the Askewniverse.

  17. palmtree says:

    I think if you’re the third ant CG movie, you’ve got to offer something really new and/or different. Instead they appeared to offer Over the Hedge meets Honey I Shrunk the Kids meets Antz meets A Bug’s Life. It feels too home video. There’s so much more potential with CG animation that when someone does something truly new and different, it will excite at the B.O. as well.

  18. Rob says:

    Yikes – as Josh implied, Barnyard is pretty much guaranteed to do even worse than Ant Bully.
    I wish Miami Vice had opened better. It needs Collateral-like legs.

  19. MattM says:

    “Freedom to Fascism” is a nut-job treatise on why no one has to pay the income tax. I’m surprised it’s doing as well as it is.
    And “Sunshine” isn’t just “not doing bad.” 103K on 7 screens? That’s a Friday only PSA of 14K. It’s doing phenomonally.
    The true story of the weekend? “John Tucker Must Die” could do 18M this weekend, and may well be one of the most profitable major releases of the summer.

  20. jeffmcm says:

    ‘”Freedom to Fascism” is a nut-job treatise on why no one has to pay the income tax. I’m surprised it’s doing as well as it is.’
    I think you explained why people might be into it in your first sentence.

  21. MattM says:

    Here’s the other thing that killed Ant Bully–I think they were counting on Imax to help drive the gross (as 3D helped drive Monster House and Imax drove Polar Express). Because Superman is doing so well and because Ant Bully had lack of attraction to adults, looks like a lot of Imax screens aren’t giving Ant Bully full days of shows. (E.g., Loews Lincoln Square in NYC is running only one showing of Ant Bully and 3 of Superman.)

  22. EDouglas says:

    Nice job on John Tucker, David. On the contrary, I think teen girls are hard to track because they’re so fickle because they always see thngs and immediately say “I want to see that” and then don’t. That’s the problem I see with teen girl tracking. This was one of the cases where they delivered, but I’d have to compare tracking to other movies to see if this was a fluke or not. I do know that it wasn’t tracking at all in any other quadrant… but still, Fox should make the money they would have made with Super ExGF last week on this one for a budget that’s probably a third the amount. It all evens out… well, at Fox anyway.

  23. Spacesheik says:

    “Maybe Manoj can direct Transformers 2″.
    Ouch!
    I don’t know who said this – maybe it was Poland – but I think Shyamalan would make a perfect Rod Serling type for the new millenium – maybe have his own anthology show.

  24. jeffmcm says:

    Who are the Axis of Idiots?
    Shyamalan is going to have to rein in his need to provide ‘lessons’ to the audience if he wants to continue with his career. To be fair, the preachier Twilight Zones were also the weakest for Serling, too.

  25. martin says:

    agreed, using a term like “axis of idiots” without context or reference is bad journalism.

  26. David Poland says:

    “bad journalism?”
    Oy.
    It was not a MCN headline. It was a blog note.
    It’s an attempt not to end up in endless flame wars with fools. Buck up… you can all figure it out easily enough.

  27. jeffmcm says:

    So the answer to my question “who are the Axis of Idiots” is ‘figure it out for yourself’?
    I don’t mind if that’s what you’re saying, it doesn’t seem to be very imporant at all. I just want to make sure.

  28. jeffmcm says:

    Although calling martin and myself ‘fools’ is not endearing.

  29. David Poland says:

    No one called you “fools.” Unless you think you are part of the Axis of Idiots. I don’t.

  30. jeffmcm says:

    Thanks.
    But I don’t know who the Axis of Idiots are so I’m hyperventilating in terror that the unthinkable could be true!!!
    (is Wells one?)

  31. martin says:

    Dave, i imagined you meant finke, wells, friedman, and/or drudge (3 out of 4 haters). But uh Finke and Drudge both are saying Vice did well… so I’m at a loss. What other box office commenters are saying vice bombed. Gitesh Pandya was pro on it. The Mojo guy doesn’t comment on fridays afaik, um… Yeah, no effin clue.

  32. the keoki says:

    Finke is definately one of the Axis of Idiots….this is taken from her post today.
    That would make this Michael Mann’s biggest movie opening of his directorial career as Vice took in $8.8 mil Friday for what will probably be a $27 mil finish. (Mann’s last big film, Collateral, starring Tom Cruise in his first villain role, opened at $24 mil.) That’s hardly blockbuster status, especially considering the $150+ mil cost, because Mann movies tend to be better received among critics than at box offices. (Which still doesn’t explain why studios make movies with Mann…)
    She’s what referred to in the Latin…..a dorkus malorkus. I think thats Latin.

  33. the keoki says:

    They make movies with Mann because he gets it done! Dammit Nikki Finke!

  34. martin says:

    ah, that’s what I get for glancing through her article quickly. FYI, Drudge’s link calls the film a hit… So is he part of the Axis of Idiots simply for linking?

  35. Aladdin Sane says:

    They make movies with Mann so at the end of the year they can say, “Look, we did at least one adult theme movie by an adult director, what more do you want?”

  36. martin says:

    he keeps getting budgets because one way or another his films generally hit the black and get good or great reviews. He’s been on the “cusp” for awhile where they think yeah, this is the time for his huge break-out box office success, plus we know he’ll get good reviews too. Let’s be realistic here, Vice will probably do about $90 domestic another $150 foreign then $80 on DVD and 20 on tv deals and what have you. It will make a modest profit. Not as much as Collateral, but ok money. And it looks good on the balance sheet. It may be a bit harder for Mann to get another $150 budget anytime soon, but he’s still strongly in the game after this one and may do more next time. When the studio hired mann and gave him this budget, these are the numbers they expected. They were aiming for more, certainly, but these numbers are neither a surprise nor a disappointment to them.

  37. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    “Yikes – as Josh implied, Barnyard is pretty much guaranteed to do even worse than Ant Bully.”
    You never know, Barnyard is really being aimed at young kids like Curious George. It could easily do around $12mil, but agreed, it could die at the box-office too.
    I always thought John Tucker could do decent business. There hasn’t really been a movie for teen girls in a while. Anywhere between $15-$20mil is a triumph.

  38. PastePotPete says:

    Barnyard freaks me out. Why does the lead character, a male cow(ie bull) have an udder? WTF? It makes my brain want to crawl out of my head and jump in front of a train.

  39. jeffmcm says:

    ^^^The Gay Mafia, or if you prefer, The Liberal Media, trying to confuse our kids.

  40. EDouglas says:

    “Why does the lead character, a male cow(ie bull) have an udder?”
    You never heard of cow trannies?

  41. Spacesheik says:

    “You never heard of cow trannies?”
    (Puts down the glass of milk)

  42. MASON says:

    I guess crazy Nikke was right and Kevin Smith was wrong. Even with a much lower P&A budget than the usual flick, Clerks 2 is a pretty big disappointment. The dropoff was huge. It’s going to top out at a much lower number than even Kevin predicted.
    And the thing is, it’s his best film in a while. I guess most people just don’t care about the View Askew universe.

  43. MASON says:

    I guess crazy Nikke was right and Kevin Smith was wrong. Even with a much lower P&A budget than the usual flick, Clerks 2 is a pretty big disappointment. The dropoff was huge. It’s going to top out at a much lower number than even Kevin predicted.
    And the thing is, it’s his best film in a while. I guess most people just don’t care about the View Askew universe.

  44. Sandy says:

    Pirates always goes up tremendously on Saturday…it has legs to run through the end of summer and beyond if theaters keep it on the screens. I went to an almost sold out show Friday night, lots of people were seeing it for the first time and enjoying it, so the WOM has been great.

  45. David Poland says:

    Nikki was wrong. In spite of the drop, Clerks II will be a major moneymaker. Tens of millions.
    Kevin was a little disnigenuous, in that Weinstein put out about $10 million in P&A. Not anything near the average, but a lot more than nothing. Still… the film will do almost $25 million domestic, which will return almost $14 million, which will put the movie nearly into the black in theatrical alone.

  46. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    It’s not that the cows have udders, it’s that the cows have male voices.
    I love that the zombie sheep movie is screening in Toronto. ZOMBIE SHEEP, PEOPLE!

  47. Cadavra says:

    “From Paramount and Nickelodeon, the companies so stupid they think cows are male…”

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Box Office

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This is probably going to sound petty, but Martin Scorsese insisting that critics see his film in theaters even though it’s going straight to Netflix and then not screening it in most American cities was a watershed moment for me in this theatrical versus streaming debate.

I completely respect when a filmmaker insists that their movie is meant to be seen in the theater, but the thing is, you got to actually make it possible to see it in the theater. Some movies may be too small for that, and that’s totally OK.

When your movie is largely financed by a streaming service and is going to appear on that streaming service instantly, I don’t really see the point of pretending that it’s a theatrical film. It just seems like we are needlessly indulging some kind of personal fantasy.

I don’t think that making a feature film length production that is going to go straight to a video platform is some sort of “step down.“ I really don’t. Theatrical exhibition as we know it is dying off anyway, for a variety of reasons.

I should clarify myself because this thread is already being misconstrued — I’m talking about how the movie is screened in advance. If it’s going straight to Netflix, why the ritual of demanding people see it in the theater?

There used to be a category that everyone recognized called “TV movie” or “made for television movie” and even though a lot of filmmakers considered that déclassé, it seems to me that probably 90% of feature films fit that description now.

Atlantis has mostly sunk into the ocean, only a few tower spires remain above the waterline, and I’m increasingly at peace with that, because it seems to be what the industry and much of the audience wants. We live in an age of convenience and information control.

Only a very elite group of filmmakers is still allowed to make movies “for theaters“ and actually have them seen and judged that way on a wide scale. Even platform releasing seems to be somewhat endangered. It can’t be fought. It has to be accepted.

9. Addendum: I’ve been informed that it wasn’t Scorsese who requested that the Bob Dylan documentary only be screened for critics in theaters, but a Netflix representative indicated the opposite to me, so I just don’t know what to believe.

It’s actually OK if your film is not eligible for an Oscar — we have a thing called the Emmys. A lot of this anxiety is just a holdover from the days when television was considered culturally inferior to theatrical feature films. Everybody needs to just get over it.

In another 10 to 20 years they’re probably going to merge the Emmys in the Oscars into one program anyway, maybe they’ll call it the Contentys.

“One of the fun things about seeing the new Quentin Tarantino film three months early in Cannes (did I mention this?) is that I know exactly why it’s going to make some people furious, and thus I have time to steel myself for the takes.

Back in July 2017, when it was revealed that Tarantino’s next project was connected to the Manson Family murders, it was condemned in some quarters as an insulting and exploitative stunt. We usually require at least a fig-leaf of compassion for the victims in true-crime adaptations, and even Tarantino partisans like myself – I don’t think he’s made a bad film yet – found ourselves wondering how he might square his more outré stylistic impulses with the depiction of a real mass murder in which five people and one unborn child lost their lives.

After all, it’s one thing to slice off with gusto a fictional policeman’s ear; it’s quite another to linger over the gory details of a massacre that took place within living memory, and which still carries a dread historical significance.

In her essay The White Album, Joan Didion wrote: “Many people I know in Los Angeles believe that the Sixties ended abruptly on August 9, 1969, ended at the exact moment when word of the murders on Cielo Drive traveled like brushfire through the community, and in a sense this is true.”

Early in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, as Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt’s characters drive up the hill towards Leo’s bachelor pad, the camera cranes up gently to reveal a street sign: Cielo Drive. Tarantino understands how charged that name is; he can hear the Molotov cocktails clinking as he shoulders the crate.

As you may have read in the reviews from Cannes, much of the film is taken up with following DiCaprio and Pitt’s characters – a fading TV actor and his long-serving stunt double – as they amusingly go about their lives in Los Angeles, while Margot Robbie’s Sharon Tate is a relatively minor presence. But the spectre of the murders is just over the horizon, and when the night of the 9th finally arrives, you feel the mood in the cinema shift.

No spoilers whatsoever about what transpires on screen. But in the audience, as it became clear how Tarantino was going to handle this extraordinarily loaded moment, the room soured and split, like a pan of cream left too long on the hob. I craned in, amazed, but felt the person beside me recoil in either dismay or disgust.

Two weeks on, I’m convinced that the scene is the boldest and most graphically violent of Tarantino’s career – I had to shield my eyes at one point, found myself involuntarily groaning “oh no” at another – and a dead cert for the most controversial. People will be outraged by it, and with good reason. But in a strange and brilliant way, it takes Didion’s death-of-the-Sixties observation and pushes it through a hellfire-hot catharsis.

Hollywood summoned up this horror, the film seems to be saying, and now it’s Hollywood’s turn to exorcise it. I can’t wait until the release in August, when we can finally talk about why.

~ Robbie Collin