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David Poland

By David Poland

Order Up!

Here’s an early summer exercise for you…
These are some of the summer titles that I expect to live on the lower end of the wide release box office list.
What order would you put them in?
A Mighty Heart (ParV)
Bug (LG)
The Comebacks (FoxAtomic)
Death Sentence (Fox)
Georgia Rule (U)
Good Luck Chuck (LG)
Hot Rod (Par)
License To Wed (WB)
Lucky You (WB)
Mama’s Boy (WIP)
Martian Child (NL)
Mr Brooks (MGM)
Mr. Bean’s Holiday (U)
The Strangers (Rogue)

67 Responses to “Order Up!”

  1. Stella's Boy says:

    How long has Lucky You been on the shelf now? I see that they are now selling it as a bland romantic comedy. Duvall isn’t in any of the TV spots I’ve seen this week and poker is barely there. It must be really bad.

  2. From best performing to lowest…
    License To Wed (WB)
    Good Luck Chuck (LG)
    Mr. Bean’s Holiday (U)
    Hot Rod (Par)
    Georgia Rule (U)
    The Comebacks (FoxAtomic)
    Mr Brooks (MGM)
    Martian Child (NL)
    A Mighty Heart (ParV)
    Death Sentence (Fox)
    Lucky You (WB)
    The Strangers (Rogue)
    Bug (LG)
    Mama’s Boy (WIP)
    Oh, and I saw the 10mins of Hairspray you saw last week… I agree the film looks fantastic, but I do not share your opinion that this will be a Wedding Crashers-sized hit. No way in hell this does $200M. Very little chance it does $100M. Which is not to say I don’t think it deserves to not do bank. I just don’t think it can.

  3. David Poland says:

    A literal $200 million gross was not what my comment was… but tired of fighting that issue.
    I don’t know what your support for it not being able to gross $100 million, based on that 20 minutes or whatever. I just note again that the musicals that have failed have sucked. But then again, that’s why there are horse races and summer movies.

  4. jeffmcm says:

    So if you had amended your comment to say ‘A Dreamgirls-level hit’ or ‘a Chicago-level hit’ you wouldn’t have had as much trouble.

  5. jeffmcm says:

    Oh yeah: The only of these movies that I’ve even heard of are Lucky You, Mr. Brooks, Bug, and Georgia Rule…so those are the ones that will do best.

  6. movielocke says:

    Good Luck Chuck
    Mr. Brooks
    The Replacements
    Georgia Rule
    in that order, The rest is a toss up

  7. David Poland says:

    If people just considered what I wrote instead of taking it out of context, it wouldn’t have come up, J-Mc… but I know that you don’t know how to do anything else. You have my sympathy.

  8. jeffmcm says:

    I don’t know what you’re talking about.
    If multiple readers all had the same problem in understanding what you meant to say, it’s silly to blame everyone but yourself.

  9. David Poland says:

    I know you don’t know what I am talking about, Jeff. That is by far your most used phrase in here. And no one uses as many phrases as you in here… not even me.

  10. Wellywood Rrrrr says:

    The previous thread posed a question of the day. Here is an answer. DP takes today

  11. LexG says:

    What’s with the SLITHER 2-esque trailers for BUG?

  12. LexG says:

    Poland, you know what your problem is?
    You play cards like you live your life, and you live your life like you should play cards.
    (Nice rug, Duvall.)

  13. MASON says:

    Does Donald Kaufman get screenplay credit on “Mr. Brooks”?
    If not, he should. It’s clearly a ripoff of “The Three”

  14. David Poland says:

    I believe it is an original by Gideon & Evans, Mason… and they wrote it as a trilogy.

  15. Noah says:

    “And the 16 minutes

  16. David Poland says:

    You’ve been the one beating this drum loudest and been the most aggressive about taking me out of context, Noah. You have also been the most sensitive of me calling foul when you started with the Phantom slinging.
    The movie can absolutely be a summer hit in the SURPRISE RANGE of the Wedding Crashers. Get it? That doesn’t mean that it will do the same gross. It means that the it could be a similar level of surprise. If I wanted to write that it would gross $200 million, I would have done that.
    And after all your $200 million shit, indeed, $200 million is not insane. It’s not likely, especially with at least a half dozen films that are likely to crack that large figure this summer. But it’s not insane. Not close.
    Is that clear enough? Should I start writing footnotes on everything I write so you won’t take it out of context and then keep taking it out of context?
    Nah… wouldn’t help.
    That is the lesson I need to learn. Color me slow.
    And yes, J-Mc is endlessly confused by his own account.
    But doesn’t this part of the blog bore you as much as it bores me? I really am confused.

  17. Noah says:

    The only thing that bores me is your condescending attitude to loyal readers of your site. I gave you quotes because you have said several different things about Hairspray’s gross. I don’t think I have said anything derogotory about you, but you make these snide remarks such as:
    “Is that clear enough? Should I start writing footnotes on everything I write so you won’t take it out of context and then keep taking it out of context?
    Nah… wouldn’t help.”
    Why are you blaming me and several others for being confused by your comments instead of blaming yourself for being unclear when you wrote them? When you say something like “range” which is defined as: An amount or extent of variation. “Amount” being the operative word there. So, excuse me for thinking that you were talking about amounts when you discussed range.
    And you could have picked any movie you wanted to talk about a surprise hit, including some like Chicago, that would have made more sense. So when you pick Wedding Crashers, I can only assusme that you are referring to the same box office dollar amounts.
    Blame me all you want and I’m sure you’ll make some condescending, snide remark about how silly I am for making this a big deal or for not being smart enough to know what you were talking about. I’m sorry for bringing up my confusion, but I thought that this would be a forum where I could talk to you and argue with you and let you know about my confusion without fear of being berated for being slow or young or silly.

  18. Joe Leydon says:

    Dammit, Wellywood! I spit Merlot all over my keyboard while laughing at your post.

  19. Joe Leydon says:

    But seriously: I think Mr. Bean’s Holiday will do much better than many people (including, apparently, David) expect. I know couples with children who love to watch the Bean TV shows together. And the first Bean movie has been in constant rotation on cable for years and years.
    Of course, you have to remember: This prediction is being offered by a guy who thought Office Space would be a monster hit. Not merely a cult fave, but a BIG, BIG-TITTED HIT!!!

  20. Rob says:

    And I count two Dane Cook movies in there, which must be a sign of the apocalypse. I actually have semi-high hopes for License to Wed, because John Krasinski is terrific and deserves a good showcase.

  21. Josh Massey says:

    License to Wed is a surefire sleeper – if it’s any good, it has a great shot at $100 million. Fans of “The Office” will likely turn out in droves; Krasinski is only one of a number of “Office” castmembers on display there.
    I think Mr. Brooks and, especially, Hot Rod will perform better than expected as well.

  22. movielocke says:

    Dave, when you’re the most prominant internet journalist known for criticizing traditional media for their exaggerations, poor reporting, not being inside enough to know it was old six HOURS ago (God, like, OLD, whatevah), etc why are you so defensive when people criticize your journalism with good journalism by actually digging up the relevant quotes?
    it’s no wonder you no longer work for EW or for a bigger Trad media outlet (like you seem to want to (pimping yourself to HR)) if you have such a thin skin that you can’t handle a valid blog critique (with the relevant quotes to back it up).

  23. Jimmy the Gent says:

    Who else here thinks Poland should go home and get his shinebox?

  24. waterbucket says:

    Wow, I have absolutely no interest in seeing any of those movies. There’s only 1 movie getting my money this summer and it’s Spiderman 3.

  25. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    I liked HOT ROD when it was called this
    And like Joe says BEAN will probably come close to topping this list. If Atkinson can pull in $500,000,000+ WW with the last couple on just theatrical.. + same again on home video then.. sheesh lookout.

  26. seymourgrant says:

    I think Georgia Rule could break out. It seems like good counter programming for women in a month dominated by movies for boys and families. Yes the R rating will hurt it some, but I actually had no desire to come within 50 yards of this movie until I found out it was rated R. It made me think there was something more going on in the movie than the ads are telling us. Plus it has to be a pretty good script for Jane Fonda and Felicity Huffman to be in a movie with Lindsey freaking Lohan. Monster-In-Law aside.

  27. Josh, The Office is hardly Grey’s Anatomy in the ratings.
    Waterbucket, have fun here at the blog over the summer if your goal is to see one movie and one movie only.
    On the matter of the list of movies Dave posted. Mr Bean’s Holiday hardly needs any box office from America. It’s already made nearly $150mil. Bug seems like an arthouse horror type flick and we all know they never catch on. A Mighty Heart could be a small success if Angelina (to quote Thandie Newton, “in black face”) gives an Oscar-calibre performance. Georgia Rule I can easily see getting to $50mil, which would surely be nice pocket change for Uni. I haven’t seen anything for Lucky You, but I could see it being another mid-range grosser.
    All the others I don’t know anything about.

  28. David Poland says:

    Thank the rest of you for actually saying on topic, in spite of me engaging.

  29. Noah says:

    David, what is this forum for if not to engage your readers? Sorry that I repeated what you said back to you, I thought we were having an argument. I didn’t realize that I had to agree with you.

  30. movielocke says:

    Silly noah!
    This is getting hit on the head lessons.
    Arguments are next door.

  31. jeffmcm says:

    I shouldn’t need to say this, but:
    when I say “I don’t know what you mean” it should be literally translated as “your words are imprecise/vague/allusive; please clarify so that we can have a clearer discussion”.
    But since DP apparently holds a grudge against me for the simple reason of my posting frequency, which he brings up whenever he can, I don’t know if I should bother.

  32. Noah says:

    I guess the thing that really gets to me about this whole situation is that even when presented with quotes that DP actually wrote down and posted, he can still be so unreasonably stubborn and condescending.
    I presented, I think, a well-reasoned argument. Been reading this site forever. I’m a loyal, reasonably intelligent fan of this blog and yet I’m treated as though I’m not worth Dave’s time or that I’m somehow beneath him.
    Dave, I just want to remind you that people are here to talk to each other and respond to what you write on this site and hopefully interact with you if we have a bone to pick. I also want to remind you that not all of us are “insiders”, some of us just want to read your thoughts about whatever musical you saw that day and then find points of contention to discuss (yes, the musical thing was a joke). I don’t see this as acting “childish” or being “stupid”. I see this as the nature of “new media”. And if you don’t like it that people disagree with you and quote your silly statements once in a while, then maybe you belong in traditional media where I hear that this type of stuff is not a problem.

  33. Kambei says:

    I too think BEAN has the best chance of topping this list, but only if it is a decent movie. The previous one was not up to the level of any of the TV shorts. I know most of anglophile Toronto will turn up if it gets a good review…someone must have seen it here?

  34. Josh Massey says:

    “Josh, The Office is hardly Grey’s Anatomy in the ratings.”
    No, but something tells me its fans will see Krasinski’s face in the ads and go. Hell, I hate Robin Williams comedies, and I’m even tempted.
    The movie is perfect counter-programming. Now that The Nanny Diaries is out of summer, chick flicks are few and far between.

  35. jesse says:

    Likeliest for $50 mil+, in descending order:
    Mr Brooks (MGM)
    License To Wed (WB)
    Hot Rod (Par)
    Mr. Bean’s Holiday (U)
    A Mighty Heart (ParV)
    Georgia Rule and Good Luck Chuck have an outside chance because of the star factors, but they aren’t stars people necessarily follow from movie to movie. Lohan had this exact same release slot last year with whatever that luck-based rom-com was called and it did way less business than I expected — and apparently Georgia Rule is rated R?! I guess they’re aiming for older women. $40 mil+ is a real possibility if it’s merely as bad as Because I Said So. Good Luck Chuck looks a little less low-rent than Employee of the Month — a more appealing concept, maybe, plus a higher romance component for Dane Cook’s sorority-girl base? — but all that means is that it might exceed the $30 mil or so Employee came up with.
    Mama’s Boy would seem like a bigger contender with more promotion (it’s coming in June and there’s no trailer?). It sounds rote (Jon Heder as the nerdy, live-at-home son of Diane Keaton), but Heder and Keaton have both appeared in less than prestigious movies with decent box-office results. Again, look to Because I Said So getting to almost 50. Though I think he’s better as supporting (and I love Napoleon Dynamite), Heder has had four movies as lead or co-lead and three have been hits. On the other hand, I didn’t even know it was coming out this summer until a few weeks ago, and I’m all about the release-schedule shuffle.
    I’m very interested in Lucky You but I don’t think general audiences will be.

  36. Stella's Boy says:

    Can I ask why you think Mr. Brooks has a shot at $50 million or more? Costner is hardly the draw he used to be, especially on his own (sorry Ms. Moore, Mr. Hurt and Mr. Cook). With Open Range and The Guardian, he had a little help and still neither one was a box office smash. Are that many people truly interested in seeing a summer movie with Kevin Costner as a serial killer, especially when they Knocked Up opens the same day?

  37. Stella's Boy says:

    Also, as a Kevin Bacon fan, I think it sucks that he’s in a Death Wish knock off from the director of Saw. That is one flick I’ll be staying far away from this summer.

  38. jesse says:

    Stella’s Boy, I’m looking at a few factors:
    –The movies you mention as being non-smashes both passed $50 million anyway. $50 million would not be a huge success for Mr. Brooks but it seems entirely feasible.
    –Also, I don’t think anyone expected Open Range to get past $30 mil, let alone 50. What was the help he had there? Duvall??
    –Knocked Up is one of my most-anticipated movies of the summer and it seems to be the designated “surprise” hit that everyone pretty much knows is gonna be a hit. THAT SAID, do you think the audiences really overlap that much? Mr. Brooks will be aimed at the middle-aged thriller-loving crowd; Knocked Up will be a twenty-and-thirtysomething date movie. 40-Year-Old Virgin had a more recognizable name than Seth Rogen and it still only opened to $20 mil or so, building its gross through strong staying power. Knocked Up might open to more because of Virgin’s video success, but this isn’t going to be some competition-devouring $50-mil opening.
    –Demi Moore isn’t a big star anymore, but I submit that her in a thriller with Costner creates an aura of star power.
    I mean, maybe it’ll go the way of Perfect Stranger, a soft opening limping to $25-30 mil. But I can see older audiences gravitating towards it in the middle of all those sequels and comedies and kids’ movies (even if it’s not good).

  39. Krazy Eyes says:

    Death Sentence isn’t really a Death Wish knock-off. It’s more of a remake/quasi-sequel/reimagining/whatever. It’s based on the novel that was the official sequel to Death Wish but from the trailer it looks to cover the events of both books (loosely and poorly probably).

  40. Stella's Boy says:

    I think at the end of summer there was an older audience that wanted to see Costner and Duvall in a Western, and Open Range also had mostly excellent reviews. However, I just don’t think that at the beginning of summer there is a wide audience that wants to see Costner in a serial killer thriller. I also think that Moore’s presence will hurt the movie more than help it. I don’t think she has too many fans left these days.

  41. Stella's Boy says:

    Is knock off really all that different from remake/quasi-sequel/reimagining/whatever? Just asking.

  42. PetalumaFilms says:

    I’ve never heard of any of those movies and after reading the on-topic posts in here, I don’t plan on looking them up.
    I will go “on the line” and say KNOCKED UP is going to be the “surprise” hit of the summer.
    jeff and Noah-
    We get your point, let it go. I mean, what possible outcome to your constant jabbing could ever appease you guys? I agree with both of you AND DP….but jesus guys, beat a dead horse much?
    You claim to come here to discuss movies and whatnot but you 2 (especially jeff…sorry but it’s true) are always the first to put a turd in the punchbowl and derail the thread. I *like* this site and I *like* David, but not enough to constantly scrutinize everything he writes. Are you guys like, secretly in love with him or something? Get a grip.

  43. “No, but something tells me its fans will see Krasinski’s face in the ads and go. Hell, I hate Robin Williams comedies, and I’m even tempted.”
    But what I was saying was that even if every person who watched The Office went and saw it it wouldn’t exactly boost the box office up that much. Anybody who doesn’t watch that show will have no idea who he is.
    “someone must have seen [Bean] here?”
    I haven’t (I hated the first film despite loving the television series) but I believe it’s gotten moderate reviews from most places. Nothing spectacular, but not as bad as they could have been. It’s making tonnes of cash though. It even moved back up to #1 in it’s third week after pushing aside 300, amazingly.
    Didn’t Open Range make it to nearly $70mil. Man, that movie is good. Agreed though that I don’t think Mr Brooks will go very far.

  44. Krazy Eyes says:

    “Is knock off really all that different from remake/quasi-sequel/reimagining/whatever?”
    Probably not considering who is directing it, but I guess for me it boils down to whether Brian Garfield is getting a royalty check and I assume in this instance he is. Knock off implies copying with the implication of theft.

  45. Stella's Boy says:

    Is it a good book?

  46. jeffmcm says:

    Open Range is very good, but from the sound of it, Mr. Brooks is laughably bad.

  47. Chucky in Jersey says:

    “Georgia Rule” had promise but earned its place on this list. Here’s to you, Mr. Movie Trailer Voice-Over Guy.
    “From Universal Pictures and the director of ‘Pretty Woman’ and ‘The Princess Diaries’…”
    “Georgia Rule” is not from Universal but from Morgan Creek, whose chairman called out Lindsay Lohan during filming and threatened to fire her. Strike 1.
    Selling a mother-daughter drama by bringing up a 17-year-old prostie picture. Strike 2.
    “Academy Award winner Jane Fonda …”
    The latest gimmick to mask an el stinko — hype the star’s Oscar past. Strike 3 — yerrrrrrrrrrrrr OUT!

  48. The Carpetmuncher says:

    The Mama’s Boy script was hilarious, and cast of Diane Keaton and Jon Heder could make it a real winner…no idea how the execution is, but the package was pretty strong…

  49. Rob says:

    Mama’s Boy also has Anna Faris and Jeff Daniels – that’s a pretty solid line-up, so I’m curious.

  50. jeffmcm says:

    Georgia Rule is indeed distributed by Universal. Pretty Woman is a much-beloved fairy tale movie that was one of the biggest hits of 1990 and still sells DVDs today. And Jane Fonda is indeed an Academy Award winner. None of these are bad things to mention in an ad, you are the only one who thinks so.
    What is your deal?

  51. I’ve never seen an unrelated DVD movie marketed with a new release in theaters the way they’re piggybacking GEORGIA RULE with…uhhh…damnit! What’s the DVD similar in tone to GEORGIA RULE they’re tagging onto the end of the GR trailer…? I thought it was SOMETHING’S GOTTA GIVE….but now I see that’s old. Anyone, anyone?
    My point was, I’ve never seen that before.

  52. jeffmcm says:

    It would have to be Because I Said So…also from Universal.

  53. Chucky in Jersey says:

    Since jeffmcm acts like a stand-in for Sean Hannity I’ll make my case perfectly clear.
    Morgan Creek produced “Georgia Rule” and owns the copyright — Universal is only the distributor. The end credits in the trailer begin “Morgan Creek Productions Presents …”
    You don’t sell a mother-daughter drama by giving props to a callgirl movie. That’ll especially turn off the churchgoers in your audience.
    Pimpin’ Oscar is the latest excuse by Hollywood to tell the public your movie ain’t worth shit. Look at the trailers for “The Good Shepherd” or “Perfect Stranger”. The B.O. results prove it.
    Anything else, Mr. Know-It-All?

  54. jeffmcm says:

    Since Universal is the distributor, as in ‘they release it’, it is indeed, ‘from Universal’.
    Next, nobody thinks of Pretty Woman as a ‘call-girl’ movie. They think of it as a fairy tale princess movie. Call-girl movies don’t gross $460m worldwide.
    Lastly, mentioning that you have an Oscar winner in your movie is a good idea. Plus The Good Shepherd not only grossed a respectable $60m, but it was an excellent film.
    I’m shocked (shocked!) that you, Chucky, would actually deign to have a discussion since you’ve been posting nothing but nonsensical hit-and-run posts about the same subject month after month. Thanks.

  55. Josh Massey says:

    “But what I was saying was that even if every person who watched The Office went and saw it it wouldn’t exactly boost the box office up that much.”
    “The Office” averages over 9 million viewers per week – if that group paid $7 each for a ticket, that’s $63 million right there (didn’t even have to use a calculator for that one!). Of course I understand not every viewer of “The Office” will see “License to Wed,” but add in the folks that made “RV” a hit, plus the woefully underserved female audience this summer, and you have a hit.

  56. I was under the impression that The Office is watched by far less. But, still.
    Chucky, you’re in idiot. Mentioning academy award winners hardly harms a film. It just doesn’t particularly help it. God. Use you noggin.

  57. Josh Massey says:

    Nope, that number is right – trust me, it took awhile to find. Most Nielsen charts only list the top 20. I think the exact number was an average of 9.2 weekly.

  58. MattM says:

    “From the Director of ‘Pretty Woman'” was all over the “Princess Diaries” trailers. Worked our pretty well for that one. Remember that many of the folks who were teenagers when “PW” came out now have children of their own. That’s who they’re targetting. Get the moms, and they’ll drag the daughters.

  59. MASON says:

    The Hairspray trailer is up at
    Man. The Poland curse continues.
    I kid, I kid. Looks like it could be a moderate hit, but 200 mil?

  60. bipedalist says:

    Hairspray will be lucky to crack $100 mil.

  61. Chucky in Jersey says:

    Scratch “Mama’s Boy” — it got moved to 11/21 (US Thanksgiving weekend) per Mojo.

  62. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    Just checked out the Hairspray trailer. The chance of being a $200m Wedding Crashers-esque smash based on the trailer?
    Dave. Ouch. Big Ouch.
    It looks like the same damn Waters movie except without the charm. Looks like ripe leftovers from Carr’s Academy Awards debacle.

  63. Eric says:

    I dunno, that’s the first frame of Hairspray that I’ve seen and it looked like it’ll have some charm. But was it just me, or did it look like they were hiding Travolta?

  64. David Poland says:

    Yes, they are keeping Travolta under wraps… as I wrote before, his character is not the lead… and if they get caught selling him first, the movie will die like the Snakes opportunity.

  65. David Poland says:

    P.S. I love that no matter what I write some of you keep throwing out that $200 million number as fact.
    Still not insane. Still unlikely… as any non-Big 6 film is this summer.

  66. Eric says:

    I guess I don’t remember reading that, but it definitely make sense. If audiences think of this solely as the Travolta-in-drag movie, it starts to look a lot more like a tired SNL skit.

  67. Lynch Van Sant says:

    Martian Child has moved to October also.
    Don’t underestimate chick flicks that appeal to young and old generations both. Georgia Rule with its early May slot will make a chunk of change. Lincense To Wed (anything about weddings in summer movies) and Mr. Brooks should also do well. Mr. Bean will reach mid-30s, the vacation scenario is more rife with comic possibilities than the first movie. Bug might ride good reviews to $40mil or more. Liv Tyler in the thriller The Strangers might also attract a nice crowd.

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