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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Friday Estimates By Klady

Movie | Friday | Screens | % Chg | Cume
The Prestige | 5.1 | 2281 | New | 5.1
The Departed | 4.2 | 3005 | -26% | 67.7
Flags of our Fathers | 3.4 | 1876 | New | 3.4
The Grudge 2 | 2.7 | 3214 | -73% | 26.4
Flicka | 2.1 | 3379 | New | 2.4
Open Season | 2.4 | 2877 | -23% | 61.6
Man of the Year | 2.1 | 2522 | -48% | 17.6
Marie Antoinette | 1.9 | 859 | New | 1.9
Texas Chainsaw Mass | 1.2 | 2569 | -59% | 33.4
Nightmare Before X /3D | 1.1 | 168 | New | 1.1
Also Debuting
Don | 0.22 | 113
Running with Scissors | 67,000 | 8
Jaan-E-Mann | 28,500 | 40
Sleeping Dogs Lie | 3,000 | 6
51 Birch Street | 2,800 | 2 –
Jonestown | 2,650 | 1

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56 Responses to “Friday Estimates By Klady”

  1. wolfgang says:

    Wow. Scorsese held off Eastwood . . . for this Friday, at least. That makes things interesting.
    Most all of the T.V. spots I saw Thursday and Friday for Flags emphasized battle scenes. This may misfire if ticket buyers expect another Saving Private Ryan and leave disappointed.

  2. Brett B says:

    The Nightmare Before Christmas number is amazing.

  3. wolfgang says:

    Then again, screen count has something to do with it, but still . . .

  4. EDouglas says:

    It is amazing… probably going to be one of the higest per-theatre-averages for a movie in that theatre range (150-200). Unfortunately, the technology might keep it from expanding, so it’ll have to be like Imax movies and try its best to keep the theatres in the theatres where it’s playing.

  5. wolfgang says:

    Sorry. Third post referenced first post.
    Traffic for Nightmare Before Christmas in 3D looks good here. It’s showing in only three locations but there’s a great nostalgia factor. I was in my late 20s when it first came out and I loved it. I’m betting a lot of adults who saw it back then will take their kids to see it this weekend.

  6. Wrecktum says:

    Nightmare cannot expand. It’s basically in every 3D house in the country. I thinkl maybe only five aren’t playing it.
    I think it’ll play very well through the end of October. Luckily for Disney there isn’t any other 3D digital movie releasing this year so they pretty much have the screens to themselves.
    Soft opening for Flags is troubling. WB put a full court press on last minute advertising, and it got its ass handed to it by the third week of Departed. Not good.

  7. Blackcloud says:

    I’m surprised “Marie Antoinette” is in so few venues. It was sold out at the showing I went to last night, as was the next one. Only playing on one screen, too.

  8. Eric says:

    I’m glad to see The Prestige come out on top. I was absolutely mesmerized by it. Smart, fantastic entertainment.

  9. EDouglas says:

    I am too, even though I also predicted Flags to be #1, because I liked Prestige and hated Flags… glad to see audiences are ignoring critics and going for movies that are more challenging and entertaining.

  10. Wrecktum says:

    …or perhaps going to the movie with a better rating, on more screens, with star appeal.

  11. tfresca says:

    I can’t imagine how they thought Flags would sell tickets.. We have a war going on now so lets sell a war movie with no stars in it? I don’t even know what the Prestige is about but I’m more interested in it than Iwo. I think a lot of people had a good experience at Batman and are willing to get on board for another ride. I tried to see the Departed last weekend and all three screenings were sold out.

  12. The Carpetmuncher says:

    Marty’s got mean legs…keep running baby!

  13. Joe Leydon says:

    On the other hand: Wouldn’t you agree that “Flags of Our Fathers” is skewed toward an older demographic? Like, to folks who don’t feel compelled to rush out and see a movie during opening weekend?

  14. EDouglas says:

    Joe: probably…and let’s remember that Clint’s last two movies opened softly after limited releases (Million Dollar Baby’s longer than Mystic River’s) but each made over $90 million in the long run. Flags now has the same issue that Departed had a few weeks ago in having to keep momentum going to get to Oscar season, though it is likely to open with less than half of Marty’s movie (and probably won’t have the same kind of legs).

  15. Rob says:

    I hope Little Children’s expansion is going well. Finally saw it last night, and it knocked me flat.

  16. psf says:

    Rob-I went to a 730 show at Boston’s biggest theatre and up until 5 minutes before the start, it was only about half full but i’d say when the movie finally started, it was 90% full. Good, but not amazing considering the market and the time on opening night.
    New Line has really dropped the ball on this one I think which is a shame because the movie is really very good.

  17. psf says:

    and now that I’ve looked at your website and seen that you are ALSO in the Boston market, that info probably isn’t as interesting to you as I thought it might be.

  18. Rob says:

    Thanks, psf. I went to the 6:30 show at Kendall Square in Cambridge and there were maybe forty people there.

  19. Direwolf says:

    I am not trying to be political but the environment isn’t right for a war movie. Americans are turned off by Iraq, which seems to get worse everyday. That undercuts interest in a war movie in general. Since we are not meeting our goals in Iraq (that was awfully poplite :-)), even the patriotism angle is taking a hit. Add in mixed reviews and this movie won’t be a box office hit even against reasonable expectations.

  20. Nicol D says:

    “I am not trying to be political but the environment isn’t right for a war movie.”
    This has nothing to do with it. It is a film with no stars, an ambiguous message and about a war many do not remember. Those factors contribute far more than the war in Iraq. Throw in Matt Damon and Leo DiCaprio as the soldiers as opposed to Paul Walker and Ryan Witherspoon and you have a different film.

  21. jeffmcm says:

    Saving Private Ryan was about ‘a war many do not remember’ and has an ambiguous message as well, but it had Tom Hanks in it.
    I didn’t even know Paul Walker was in this movie and he’s a bigger star than Philippe or Bradford – I’m guessing he isn’t in the movie long.

  22. Roxane says:

    Flags of our Fathers is not a limited release its a wide release that opened soft. “Flags” looks like it will open below The Departed’s third weekend.I see Flags struggling to reach $50 mil.If Clint was not going to appear in FOOF he should have hired a name actor to lead the film as the D-list cast hurts the film’s box office.Personally, I can’t remember the last time Ryan Witherspoon or Jesse Martin had a hit and Paul Walker is usually box office poison unless he’s in a Fast and Furious film or 8 Below.

  23. jeffmcm says:

    ‘Ryan Witherspoon’ was in Crash last year which was a hit.

  24. He was hardly the biggest draw though.
    But, even I’m a bit surprised by Flags‘ number. I expected $15mil. I’m glad that The Prestige looks set to come out on top though. Even if it’s not an out-and-out smash, I’d glad my boys Hugh and Christian are gonna be in a #1 movie that’s not X-Men or Batman.
    On the matter of Flags‘ soft opening. What then of Home of the Brave. Is that the war movie people want to see. One that is relevant to the modern times with Samuel J Jackson, Jessica Biel (who seems to have gotten some older audience cred with The Illusionist) and 50 cent for younger audiences? Even if the film doesn’t look too good.
    Even though Marie Antoinette is gonna debut at #9, I’m glad it’s not gonna be a complete flop. I was expecting the worst.
    On Nightmare Before Christmas you’re gonna have a lot of people my age (21) and younger who didn’t see it originally in cinemas but who have since seen it and loved it wanting to go. I know me and my friends are all gonna be there when it opens and we can’t wait.

  25. Oh, and Annette Bening is slowly becoming an also ran for this year’s Best Actress race. If Running With Scissors‘ opening gross is even more disappointing than, say, Little Children… ouch.

  26. jeffmcm says:

    No, nobody saw Crash because Ryan Phillippe was in it except his wife, but he was one of the few actors in it who didn’t embarrass themselves in it.

  27. EDouglas says:

    Running with Scissors’ opening day isn’t bad…should make a couple million next week when it expands, which is probably more than Being Julia made in total.

  28. MattM says:

    Marie’s far from a flop–its Friday PSA was just slightly below that of Prestige, and given the mixed reviews and decidedly negative early buzz, that’s not bad at all. Flicka is a flop (though not an unanticipated one), Scissors is off to an OK, but unspectacular, start (we’ll see how it does next weekend, when it goes wide), and Flags is not getting the commercial support it needs to solidify its place in the Best Picture race, while The Departed is getting the commercial support it needs to get in, possibly as the “Fifth Movie”–the commercial success story that isn’t a “Great Film” but that people love–e.g., “The Fugitive,” “Four Weddings and a Funeral,” “Sixth Sense.”

  29. It really is starting to look as if The Departed and Scorsese will make it into the race. How odd.
    EDouglas, let us remember that Bening was superb in Being Julia and that year was sort of light for Best Actress. Whereas this year there are about 10 women who are justifiably in contention. In 2004, the only other possibility was Uma for KBV2 and we know that wasn’t gonna happen.

  30. austin111 says:

    Not that it means anything but at the local Cinemark in Houston where I went to see Little Children tonite and where that theater was pretty empty, the late Departed shows were all sold out, none of Flags was sold out, and The Prestige had one show sold out.

  31. Roxane says:

    I’m surprised that some people think The Departed “may” get in as the 5th nominee. To me The Departed is the frontrunner at this stage of the race. TD’s reviews have been steller second only to The Queen among likely Oscar nominees, its a crowd favorite and about to become the highest grossing R rated film of the year.I’m also sure TD will find its way on to many critics top 10 lists and that it will end up topping a few of those lists, while winning a few critics awards.I see TD as a contender for GG (drama), SAG ensemble, DGA and PGA. I don’t see how it will not be nominated for the Oscar for BP and BD.

  32. jeffmcm says:

    …because it’s still only October.

  33. If it gets nominated I’d definitely say The Departed is in with a definite shot, but the trick is to actually get nominated and there have been movies that have been well-reviewed, awards from across the board and then failed to get a Best Picture spot.
    And yes, it is only October.

  34. EDouglas says:

    See, there are precursors to a movie being able to get into the BP race… one of them has always been the Producers Guild nomination, which often goes to the more successful films, which Departed now is. The fact that it didn’t play in Toronto or other festivals caused a bit of concern, as well as early reverse spin that said it wasn’t really “that kind of movie” but obviously, enough people are liking it and raving about it and it’s doing well enough that it definitely stands a chance, especially as others get weeded out.

  35. Josh Massey says:

    Looking at the rest of the field, “The Departed” seems to be a sure bet for a nomination.

  36. Dr Wally says:

    The Departed is getting the commercial support it needs to get in, possibly as the “Fifth Movie”–the commercial success story that isn’t a “Great Film” but that people love–e.g., “The Fugitive,” “Four Weddings and a Funeral,” “Sixth Sense.”
    The Fugitive and The Sixth Sense ARE great movies, popular craftsmanship at it’s best, just like Gladiator, Titanic, Forrest Gump and Saving Private Ryan. And Four Weddings never actually did that well in the States. If you want an example of a commercial movie getting the ‘fifth slot’ despite being far from great, that would have to be Ghost. That movie hasn’t aged well at all.

  37. But, you see, that’s the thing. The popular movie (which is usually much more popular money-wise than The Departed will be) just doesn’t happen anymore. I mean, would we really see Jaws nominated today if it was the same and from a new director?

  38. EDouglas says:

    Josh, but are you looking at the rest of the field of movies that have come out? or the ones still to come out that you and few other people haven’t seen?

  39. Josh Massey says:

    How many films haven’t been seen by anyone? “Dreamgirls” and “The Good German” – anything else? I haven’t seen all the films, but I feel fairly confident – gauging general reaction – that “The Departed” is getting a nomination.
    And the “popular movie” does happen. It just happened two years ago with “The Return of the King.” Does anybody honestly believe that was the best movie of 2004?

  40. EDouglas says:

    Josh: Good Shephard, Children of Men (actually that’s been playing in Europe but they haven’t screened it much here), Notes on a Scandal… people might laugh at me, but We Are Marshall has a really talented cast of actors and it’s a strong story with good placement… (And maybe McG won’t score all the football scenes with The Prodigy)

  41. Dr Wally says:

    “And the “popular movie” does happen. It just happened two years ago with “The Return of the King.” Does anybody honestly believe that was the best movie of 2004?”
    My favorite films of 2004 were The Incredibles, Friday Night Lights and Million Dollar Baby. ROTK was my favorite film of 2003, though (flooring Josh with superior pedantry). Veering off-topic though, the extended DVD edition of ROTK does show the first warning signs of Jackson’s indulgences that would go on to haunt King Kong. Sure, SOME of the new stuff is essential (the Saruman confrontation, and Sam and Frodo’s trek across Mordor is now much more arduous), but there’s an awful lot of silly filler (the drinking game). Moreover, the extension of the paths of the dead sequence ruins the surprise of Aragorn and co. showing up at Minas Tirith later on, and there’s some weak comedy business with Gimli seemingly channelling Shaggy from ‘Scooby Doo’.

  42. Chucky in Jersey says:

    “Flags of Our Fathers” has bombed despite the nonstop push in the US press. Parade and USA Weekend both had cover stories on that movie last week. More proof the public is smarter than the ruling class!
    Sony is handling “Marie Antoinette” upmarket/arthouse, which accounts for the lower-than-expected screen count. “Running with Scissors” will likely be upmarket/arthouse when it goes national next week.

  43. SpamDooley says:

    wondering about the endgame status if Lonelydave49 is away, does he not still have lunch? Where is the complaining about the weather and the fact that though most of the trip is comped, the boat drinks are not and in order to get drunk he needs to down 4 an hour? The vblog has to be a regular thing or else the readership loses interest. End game or game over?
    I am Spam Dooley and I fret a lot!

  44. crazycris says:

    i just got back from seeing “Perfume” and I can see why DP licked it so much… it is impressive! manages to convey the creepy feeling from the book, and the acting is v. good as well! The main character “Grenouille” gave us the shivers… and both Dustin Hoffman and Alan Rickman were great! (just wish i could have seen them in English instead of dubbed to French… A.R. in particular has a few lines of dialogue that I sure come across fabulously and quite menacing with all the emphasis he knows how to put in his voice)
    but Dave, I still don’t see why you call it entertaining???!!! unless you were just refering to the mass-histeria in the village… (won’t say more to not spoil it for others)

  45. Blackcloud says:

    “Veering off-topic though, the extended DVD edition of ROTK does show the first warning signs of Jackson’s indulgences that would go on to haunt King Kong.”
    No, the extended edition of TT does that, although I’d say there are warning signs in the regular version of TT.

  46. jeffmcm says:

    Chucky, is not Running With Scissors already arthouse right now?
    Flags didn’t gross more because of its lower screen count, its lack of starpower, and its lackluster marketing campaign, which was basically just that same image of Iwo Jima over and over again with little information as to what the film was actually about.
    I have yet to see evidence that the public is very smart at all.

  47. James Leer says:

    “Notes on a Scandal” is screening. All I know of right now that’s not screening is “Dreamgirls,” “Children of Men,” “The Good Shepherd,” “The Good German,” and “The Pursuit of Happyness.”
    I would not count the latter out. Could be this year’s “Erin Brockovich” — a restrained, inspiring true story that delivers for its movie star lead.
    I am really hoping one of these hits because I fear the film with the best chance right now is (no joke) “Little Miss Sunshine.”

  48. crazycris says:

    Children of Men is out in Europe already… I saw it a few weeks ago in London in a late Sunday night show, was packed. People seemed impressed. It’s a bit too dark (subject matter) to be a widely liked film. I personally thought it was great. Hat’s off to Clive Owen!

  49. Joseph says:

    “And Four Weddings never actually did that well in the States.”
    What??? Four Weddings was the sleeper hit of the spring of 1994, grossing $52 million (which, adjusted for inflation, comes somewhere in the $70 million range), and sustained that momentum, long after it had left theaters, to an Oscar nod, the same way that Little Miss Sunshine likely will this year.

  50. Wrecktum says:

    Assuming Happyness is any good, then I think it’ll be one of the top two or three boxoffice films of the holiday season (it’s positioned perfectly). I’m getting a strong Jerry Maguire vibe from the movie and, though it probably won’t play as well as that breakout film, I could see it rack up multiply noms in the top categories while it plays strongly through February.

  51. Blackcloud says:

    “Jerry Maguire”–yuck! Let’s hope “Pursuit of Happyness” is better than that.

  52. jeffmcm says:

    Pursuit strikes me as a movie that’ll only get a nomination for Will Smith and that’s it.

  53. Wrecktum says:

    Have you seen it?

  54. jeffmcm says:

    No, which is why I said “strikes me”, as in “gives me the impression of”.

  55. Cadavra says:

    Speaking of awful-but-popular movies that managed Best Picture nominations…
    FATAL ATTRACTION!

  56. which reminds me… give Glenn Close a bloody Oscar already.
    Children of Men is out in most of the world now, I think. Strange that they’re not even screening it in American for awards and such.
    Damn good movie, too.

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“But okay, I promise you now that if I ever retire again, I’m going to ensure that I can’t walk it back. I’ll post a series of the most disgusting, offensive, outrageous statements you can ever imagine. That way it will be impossible for me to ever be employed again. No one is going to take my calls. No one is going to want to be seen with me. Oh, it will be scorched earth. I will have torched everything. I’m going to flame out in the most legendary fashion.”
~ Steven Soderbergh

I feel strongly connected to young cinephile culture. The thing about filmmaking—and cinephilia—is that you can’t keep hanging out with your own age group as you get older. They drop off, move somewhere. You can’t put together a crew of sixty-somethings. It’s the same for cinephilia: my original set of cinephile friends are watching DVDs at home or delving into 1958 episodes of ‘Gunsmoke,’ something like that. The people who are out there tend to be young, and I happen to be doing the same thing still, so it’s natural that I move in their circles.

In terms of the filmmaking, there was a gear shift: my first movies focused on people around my age, and I followed them for three films. Until The Unspeakable Act, I was using the same actors, not because of an affinity for people at a specific age, but because of my affinity for the actors. I like to work with actors a second time, especially if I don’t feel confident casting a new film. But The Unspeakable Act was a different script, and I had to cast all new people. Even for the older roles, I couldn’t get the people I’d worked with before. But when it was over, the same thing happened: I wanted to work with Tallie again in the worst way, and I started the process all over again.

I think Rohmer did something similar around the time of Perceval and Catherine de HeilbronnHe developed new groups of people that he liked to work with. These gear shifts are natural. Even if you want to follow certain actors to the end of their life (which I kind of do) the variety of ideas that you generate makes it necessary to change. And once you’ve made the change, you’ve got all these new people around.”
~ Dan Sallitt